Zim Judges’ Vehicles Get Facelift

By Professor Matodzi

Harare, June 9, 2015 – Fourteen High Court judges’ vehicles have had a
facelift following protests by judicial officers that they were not
user friendly.
As part of their working conditions, High Court judges get allocated
two official vehicles, a Mercedes Benz and a Land Rover Discovery.
But the judges had raised concern over challenges they encountered
when boarding the Land Rover Discovery vehicles as they were not
fitted with side steps for their convenience.
But the judges’ predicament came to an end on Monday when government
officials booked their vehicles for a facelift to be carried by
Premier Auto, a Harare based firm to fix the nagging problem.
“The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has advised us to take Land
Rover Discovery vehicles belonging to the judges listed hereunder to
Premier Auto in order for side steps to be fitted on them,” reads part
of a memorandum written to Judge President George Chiweshe by the
acting Registrar last Friday.
“We are kindly requesting that these vehicles be brought in the
morning on Monday so that they can quickly be attended to,” the Acting
Registrar added in a memorandum entitled “Fitment of Side step On Land
Rover Discovery Vehicle Issues.”
Some of the judges whose vehicles were attended to on Monday include
Justice Chiweshe, Justice Lavender Makoni, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu,
Justice Tendai Uchena, Justice Alphas Chitakunye, Justice Francis
Bere, Justice Felistus Chatukuta, Justice Joseph Musakwa, Justice
November Mtshiya, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi, Justice Hlekani Mwayera,
Justice Mary Zimba-Dube, Justice Happias Zhou and Justice Joseph
Mafusire.
Vehicles have been one of the contentious issues that Zimbabwean
judges have not been happy about resulting in Labour Court judges
petitioning the Judicial Service Commission demanding the same
conditions as those applying to judges of the High Court.
Apart from vehicles, judges have also protested over poor remuneration
and demanded new court robes and other professional regalia as the
garments they are currently using are old and worn out second-hand
items inherited from long-retired judges.
The judges have also complained over poor security which they claim is
compromised as access to their chambers by the public was too easy
together with the provision of newer computers, internet connectivity,
updated library, office and parking space, salary adjustment and other
trappings that should come along with the office of judges.