Malaba Demands Removal Of People Doing Business Around The Courts
THE country’s top judge, Chief Justice Luke Malaba has demanded the removal of Osiphatheleni and other people involved in illegal activities around Tredgold Building which houses the Bulawayo Magistrates Courts.
The illegal money changers always play cat and mouse games with the police and have refused to vacate the environs of the courts, popularly known as the World Bank, due to the availability of cash in different currencies.
CJ Malaba yesterday said it is “unhealthy” for such things to be carried out on the doorstep of the courts.
He said the Judiciary Services Commission (JSC) has already engaged the Bulawayo City Council in a quest to restore sanity on the court’s surroundings.
The areas around Tredgold Building, especially Innscor outlets, are frequented by illegal money changers popularly known as osiphatheleni, vendors and illegal pirate taxis.
CJ Malaba in his speech at the commissioning of three additional courtrooms at the Bulawayo High Court, said council should find a permanent solution to the problem of osiphatheleni.
“May I also register the JSC’s appreciation of the support the Bulawayo City Council has given us. They have been cooperating right through with the JSC in seeking to find a permanent solution to the congestion outside Tredgold Building.
“We are concerned about it and we have expressed our concern and I’m certain that the Bulawayo City Council fathers will take further steps to correct the situation.
“It’s not a healthy situation to have illegal activities taking place just outside the fountain of justice” he said.
In an interview on the sidelines of the event, Judiciary Services Commission Acting Secretary, Mr Walter Chikwanha said the Tredgold Magistrates Court like what the Chief Justice had said, should not co-exist with illegality.
“Outside there are a lot of illegal activities that are going on where you have pirate taxis, vendors, illegal money changers and there is a lot of noise as well. Having such activities happening outside the courtroom is really unprecedented and obviously unacceptable,” said Mr Chikwanha.
He said the effect of the disorder is that people would not have confidence in the justice system if illegal activities are allowed to take place on the doorstep of the courts.
“We are in discussions and engagements with the Bulawayo City Council for them to see how they can relocate some of the people so that there is some semblance of order outside that court so that even people who come to that court have confidence in the system.
“We have vulnerable groups like widows, women and children that come there seeking justice and you can’t imagine that they can get justice at a place where there are serious illegal activities happening outside that court,” said Mr Chikwanha.
He said Chief Justice Malalba’s position was clear that the Commission should engage the Bulawayo City Council in order to address the anomaly.
Mr Chikwanha said he had spoken to Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni and he is cooperating on the issue.
“Now I have mandated the magistrate in charge of Bulawayo Province to continue the engagement and hopefully corrective measures would be taken,” he said.
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