GWERU – The judiciary will deal with people that commit political violence, a member of the Judiciary has said.
Speaking during the official opening of the 2023 Legal Year for the Gweru High Court Circuit, Justice Martin Makonese said as the country prepares for the 2023 harmonised elections, it is expected that the general peace that prevails in every part of the country is maintained.
The Bulawayo High Court judge said the judiciary is ready to perform its constitutional mandate as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“In terms of section 164 of the Constitution, the independence of the judiciary is guaranteed.
“To that extent any person who shall disturb the general peace that is prevailing must be warned that the courts are ready to deal decisively with those minded to cause violence, chaos or any other such conduct designed to disturb the peace in the country,” he said.
Justice Makonese said Zimbabwe was a constitutional democracy and as such elections must be conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.
“Those members of the public who shall violate the laws of the country will only have themselves to blame.
“It is important to underscore the fact that peace and security are at the core of any functional democracy.
“Any political contestation among political parties must be done within the confines of the laws of Zimbabwe. Political violence has no place in a democratic state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Priscilla Chigumba last week announced that this year’s elections will likely be held between 26 July and 24 August.
Lamenting the rise in crime across the country, Justice Makoni called for traditional leaders to assist in resolving domestic issues.
“I call upon traditional leaders and elders to assist in resolving domestic disputes, mainly arising out of incidents of infidelity and cases involving crimes of passion,” Justice Makonese added.
He also highlighted that part of spiking crime was through robbery cases which he said had been partially accounted for regardless of some offender escaping the clutches of law.
Current statistics show that the influx of crime has seen the Bulawayo High Court dealing with a total of 7 089 both civil and criminal cases, with 6 913 completed and 176 pending for the period January to December 2022.
17 murder cases have been set down during this quarter’s Gweru High Court Circuit, which must be completed within a period of two weeks.