Mugabe exhumation appeal in limbo as Covid-19 shuts down courts

Mugabe exhumation appeal in limbo as Covid-19 shuts down courts

Zimbabwe has shut down seven courthouses to contain Covid-19 outbreaks among staff, an official said on Wednesday.

Walter Chikwana, the secretary for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), said the temporary closures would allow for disinfection procedures in the court buildings.

Zimbabwe is seeing a spike in Covid-19 infections, with the 766 reported on Wednesday the highest this year.

Chikwana said multiple virus cases had been reported at Chinhoyi Magistrates Court, Karoi Magistrates Court, Kariba Magistrates Court, Bindura Magistrates Court, Mt. Darwin Magistrates Court, Mutare Magistrates Court and the Mutare High Court, forcing closure of the buildings.

He added: “We are currently in the process of consulting with the Ministry of Health and Child Care on the way forward. Litigants and lawyers who may want to file any papers at these courts are advised to get in touch with the Registrar, Resident Magistrate, Additional Sheriff or Assistant Master on duty.

“The public will be advised when the concerned courts will be re-opening.”

On Friday, the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court was set to hear an appeal by the children of the late former President Robert Mugabe against a traditional chief’s order that their father be exhumed from Zvimba and be reburied at the Heroes Acre in Harare. The chief set Mugabe’s widow, Grace, a deadline of July 1.

Mugabe’s children Bona, Robert Junior and Bellarmine argue that Chief Zvimba had no judicial authority to make such an order.