Mathew Masinge, H-Metro Reporter
Chief Justice Luke Malaba yesterday assured the nation that local courts stand ready to deal with the notorious machete-wielding gangs known as MaShurugwi.
“As we speak, the country is gripped by another spate of violence by the so-called machete gangs.
“The judiciary acknowledges the work being undertaken by law enforcement agencies in bringing perpetrators of that wave of violence to book.
“May I assure the nation that the courts stand ready to decisively deal with those offences in accordance with the law,” said Chief Justice Malaba.
He said the Judicial Service Commission has set up special courts to deal with such cases.
“Special courts to specifically try the cases have been set up in all affected areas across the country.
“Institutions mandated to protect the citizens cannot sit back and watch a few rogue elements terrorise the entire nation for their selfish benefits.
“Citizen’s rights of freedom of movement, freedom to conduct their affairs without fear and freedom of association are being violated with impunity,” he said.
“Courts must demonstrate to the public that they are possessed of real capacity to enforce the law and punish crime.”
In 2019, the courts received a total of 101 124 criminal cases with the influx blamed on public violence of January and August of the same year.
Chief Justice Malaba said violence remains unacceptable.
“Violence is likely to result in the loss of life, injury to other citizens and wanton destruction property, it remains unacceptable,” he said.
Of the 101 124 criminal cases reported in 2019, about 100 493 were cleared by local magistrates.
However, the Criminal Division still has a backlog of 4 939 cases carried forward into 2020.