The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has lamented congestion at Tredgold building, citing it is difficult for officials to fulfil their mandate.
The building houses the Bulawayo Magistrates Courts, Labour Court, Department of Surveyor General, Department of Social Services, Registrar General’s office, Local Government Ministry, and Umguza District Administrator’s office.
Other offices in the building are Deeds and Intellectual properties, District Development Fund (DDF) Tillage, Justice Ministry, Finance Ministry, Public Service Commission (PSC) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
These remarks were made by the Acting Chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi as he briefed the Chief Justice Luke Malaba Justice Ziyambi Ziyambi and Local Government minister July Moyo who visited Tredgold Building to inspect progress on the ongoing renovations.
Mutevedzi implored the government to avail funds which will enable other offices to be moved from Tredgold building.
“It is not only members of the JSC who occupy this building. The building is massively overcrowded emanating from the various departments housed here. It was our hope that resources permitting, the other challenges having been overcome, measures be taken to decongest the building so that it becomes a better working environment for the JSC staff,” Mutevedzi said.
He said even acquiring parking space is a nightmare at the building.
Mutevedzi noted that due to numerous departments, it is difficult to conduct stop and search operations to control access to the building.
He said because of this JSC clients at times fall victim to bogus legal practitioners and a “lot of underhand dealings”.
“The space occupied by the Labour Court is not even sufficient for a superior court. With resources permitting, the Labour Court must be expanded to give it the decorum that is required of a court of its magnitude,” he said.
Responding to the challenges raised, Min Moyo said his ministry will look into decongesting the building through devolution.
“I do not know when Matabeleland North provincial minister will move out of Mhlahlandlela building but this will give us a window of opportunity to relook at all these offices that are here. As they move out, we hope to leave the core departments that are linked to justice such as the Registrar General and the Deeds office,” Moyo said.