Two Bulawayo lawyers were on Monday sworn in as High Court judges, a development the legal fraternity in the city said would go a long way in oiling the wheels of justice at the Bulawayo High Court.
The Bulawayo High Court has been dogged by a backlog of cases due to an acute shortage of judges, with some retired judges being roped in on a temporary basis to ease the workload.
The Bulawayo High Court has four judges instead of five.
Bulawayo regional magistrate Owen Tagu and lawyer Nokuthula Moyo were part of the six judges appointed to the bench and sworn in at the State House by President Robert Mugabe on Monday.
A senior lawyer in the city, Job Sibanda of Job Sibanda and Associates, welcomed the appointments saying it was done at the right time, as they were expecting a lot of litigation with the operationalisation of the new Constitution after the July 31 elections.
“What you have to know first is that it doesn’t matter whether these judges come from Bulawayo or not. They can be deployed anywhere,” he said.
“It’s not necessarily that they will work in Bulawayo.
“However, the appointment of more judges is a welcome development,” he added.
“Nokuthula is coming from private practice and she is bringing vast experience to the bench.
“The other one (Tagu) was a university lecturer, so it’s a wealth of experience.
“The appointments are highly necessary and have come at the right time”.
Matshobane Ncube of Phulu-Ncube Legal Practitioners concurred with Sibanda saying the appointments will help clear the backlog at the courts.
“This will help to drive the Judiciary machinery and see that cases are dealt with expeditiously at the High Court.
“It’s a welcome development indeed. I have known Moyo for a long time.
“She really deserves that position.”
Another lawyer, Kossam Ncube of Kossam Ncube and Partners, agreed with his colleagues saying it was good news for Bulawayo to have two of its residents appointed to the bench.
“It’s good and welcome news. As for Nokuthula she has vast experience and it will benefit the judiciary in discharging its mandate.
“Both of them, I think deserved the appointments,” he added.