Courts To Resume Operations With Effect From 11 May 2020

All courts shall become fully operational with effect from May 11 as the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is acquiring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its members, including judges and magistrates in compliance with the regulations announced by President Mnangagwa.


                                    Chief Justice Luke Malaba

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is reportedly acquiring PPE for its workers as they have announced that courts will be fully operational starting Monday 11 May 2020.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba yesterday issued Practice Directions 3 of 2020, operational directions for the courts during the level two lockdown.

He said the Practice Directions replaces operational instructions announced in Practice Directions 1 and 2 of 2020 and applies to the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the High Court, the Labour Court, the Administrative Court, and the Magistrates’ Courts in Zimbabwe.

Following the proclamation on 1 May 2020 by His Excellency, the President that the country is moving into level two lockdown from 4 May 2020, these directions are issued to guide court operations during the level two lockdown period. For the purposes of implementing the measures introduced under level two lockdown, practice direction number 1 of 2020 as amended shall remain effective until the 10th of May 2020.

Accused persons automatically remanded to dates between 4 May 2020 and 8 May 2020 under practice direction 2 of 2020, will be remanded by the courts to dates after 11 May 2020. All courts shall become operational with effect from May 11 2020.

However, the solemnisation of marriages will only begin after the lockdown. The courts during the lockdown have been attending to urgent matters only.

The Chief Justice said warrants of arrest will be issued against any such person who doesn’t attend court for remand after May 11.

Last Friday, President Mnangagwa extended the lockdown by another two weeks but allowed some businesses to reopen under strict conditions.

Since the lockdown was first announced on March 30, courts have been attending to urgent matters, mainly remands, bail hearings and matters deemed urgent.

Those coming to court shall be subjected to temperature checks and sanitisation of hands at entrances and will be required to wear face masks, avoid person to person contact and maintain social distancing.

Businesses are required to ensure that all employees are tested for Covid-19.