RUSAPE – The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has with immediate effect transferred all Rusape magistrates, clerks of court and court interpreters to other regions and provinces as perceptions of corruption in the judiciary rise, TellZim News can reveal.
In emailed responses to questions, acting chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi said the move was part of usual strategies used elsewhere where suspicions of corruption had been raised.
“The Commission has previously used the same intervention to good effect in other places such as Beitbridge where red flags had been raised in 2016. Other stakeholders in the administration of justice have also acknowledged the strategy’s effectiveness and resorted to it. There is no gainsaying the adage that familiarity breeds contempt.
“These transfers are in accordance with the JSC Regulations, 2015 and its strategic priorities as set out in section 12 of part 4.4 of the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020. That strategic focus area mandates the Commission to participate in the formulation and implementation of sector-wide interventions to enhance integrity of the administration of justice,” he said.
Mutevedzi is acting on behalf of Chief Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe who is facing multiple criminal abuse of office charges.
Mutevedzi also said one clerk of court has been arrested for allegedly tempering with court records.
The clerk, who has since been identified as Brit Zambara, allegedly removed pages from book numbers R436 to 455/13 including records of an accused person in order to cover up an offence.
“There is no evidence of members of staff engaging in widespread underhand dealings at the station. We have however received complaints and noted some systems inadequacies during routine monitoring and evaluation visits to Rusape. It then became necessary to realign operations at the station.
“In an isolated incident which is already in the public domain, a clerk of court was arrested on allegations of tampering with court records. The veracity of those allegations can only be proved in a court of law,” Mutevedzi said.
In his televised interview TV interview ahead of this year’s Independence Day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said corruption in the country ran ‘deep and wide’.