Bulawayo High Court Failing To Cope With Workload

Speaking at the opening of the 2012 legal year, Judge President George Chiweshe said:“The building is ancient and can only produce three court rooms. At most we can only have three court sittings simultaneously.”

The Judge said on some days, the judges have to share a courtroom such as one sitting after the other has adjourned.

The judge revealed that the Ministry of Construction had been consulted with the view of creating a fourth courtroom in the crammed building.

“Bail applications are being held in judges’ chambers while a more flexible method of setting down of opposed matters is being used. A deliberate policy has been put in place to encourage litigants to settle out of court and avoid unnecessary litigation” he said.

Judge Chiweshe said the shortage of judges in Bulawayo has also affected operations.

“The volume of work continued to increase .The shortages of judges has negatively impacted on the operations of the High Court in Bulawayo.

“Of a particular concern is the high court library which has operated for almost two years without a librarian,” said Justice Chiweshe.

The Judge also pointed out that the High Court here has been operating without a switch board for the past five years, a situation that has negatively impacted on the court’s internal and external communications.