Reforms needed at the Judiciary Services Commission

There is an old adage which says “Who will police the Police?”- a question which cannot be answered, a question which emanates from the misconduct and behaviour of the police.

Tables have turned lately there is a new trend in the country where magistrates are being implicated in corruption activities.

Leading to yet another question – ‘Who will judge the judge?’

Reports of bribery involving prosecutors, magistrates at courts are on the increase in a interestingly opposite of their mantra “Justice is for free, do not pay for it.”

Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was handed over a dossier which was exposing corruption in the Judiciary Service Commission and many await how he will act as he read a riot act on corruption lately.

During Operation Restore Legacy, a lot of politicians from ZANU PF mainly those who belonged to G40 faction which was fronted by the former President Robert Mugabe (may he continue enjoying his retirement!) and his wife Grace Mugabe , people were arrested and we are still waiting for convictions and acquittals, they say Justice delayed is justice denied.

A lot of high profile cases have been deferred until the case is thrown out without convictions.

  Reforms at the JSC are needed as a matter of urgency!

This writer understands  that Mnangagwa was handed the file which implicates senior members of the Judicial Service Commission. 

Chief Justice Justice Malaba is on record condemning the “terrible scourge called corruption” insisting as the “judiciary, we maintain our stance that cases of corruption must be dealt with decisively by the courts.”

“I want to make it clear to all and sundry, whether you are a lawyer, judge or magistrate that it is our duty to deal decisively with cases of corruption,’’ he declared during the commissioning of three new courtrooms at the Bulawayo High Court in October 2018.

“We have, on our part, embarked on a programmes of continuous judicial education and training to inculcate into judicial officers the necessary values for fighting corruption,” he added.

In the dossier it is indicated that corruption is right in front of Malaba’s doorstep.

“Private investigations will confirm that corruption is rife at the top echelons of the JSC involving high-ranking state officials who have become filthy rich overnight as shall be more fully discussed below. The members of the JSC secretariat comprises of very powerful and influential individuals.”

 The new dispensation has opened up more democratic space and citizens must not abuse this.

 In the Second Republic we expect justice to prevail over bribes, we expect justice to take its course, we expect our JSC members to do things by the book, we condemn corruption, we condemn injustice, as the  saying goes “Do not pay for justice, it is for free.”