The 2018 legal year opens today, with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) holding ceremonies in Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo. Chief Justice Luke Malaba will officially open the main gathering at Mashonganyika Building, which houses the Supreme and Constitutional Courts in Harare.

Harare City Council workers hoist new flags at the High Court yesterday in preparation for the opening of the 2018 legal year today.

He will preside over the legal year opening ceremony for the first time since his appointment to the esteemed office in April last year.

Chief Justice Malaba took over the reigns following the retirement of his predecessor, the late Retired Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, the second most senior judge in the Judiciary, will preside over the same event in Bulawayo.

Judge President George Chiweshe will officially open the legal year at the High Court in Masvingo, which is the country’s third permanent High Court station.

Yesterday, JSC Secretary Justice Rita Makarau said all was now in place for the opening of the 2018 legal year after days of preparation.

“We are prepared to open the 2018 legal year in the three towns where we have permanent High Court stations,” she said.

Rehearsals at Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo venues started on Friday with police drills and inspection of the quarter guard.Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services band, which is set to provide music, was fine-tuning its skills.

The rehearsals continued throughout until Saturday afternoon.

Tents had been pitched at the venues by last Thursday in preparation for the big day. The ceremony in Harare starts with the arrival of guests at 9am.

The Chief Justice will then inspect the guard of honour with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Brass Band playing the national anthem.

Chief Justice Malaba will make is address and declare the 2018 legal year open.

The function will end with refreshments. The Constitutional Court will this term hear the witchcraft dispute pitting former Primary and Secondary Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere and his son Mangwiza Chigwedere.

The Apex Court will also handle the case in which MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese is suing Parliament over Constitutional Amendment (Number 1) Act.

Among the matters to be heard by the Supreme Court this term, include the dispute pitting former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s son Russel Goreraza and businessman Jamal Ahmed.

The Supreme Court will also hear an appeal against dismissal from employment by former Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) pastor Joshua Garamukanwa.

Murder cases dominate the High Court’s cause list for the first term with a few criminal abuse of office trials.

The High Court will also hear a number of civil disputes.



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