Chief Court Reporter
The Messenger of Court has thrown his weight behind the campaign to fight corruption in the justice administration sector and warned the public against corrupting his officers during the course of their duties.
Many people whose property is under judicial attachment are usually hostile whenever the Messenger of Court visits them to enforce court orders.
Some even try to bribe officers from the office of the Messenger of Court.
Zimbabwe early this month stepped up the fight against corruption, with stakeholders in the justice delivery system launching an anti-corruption green card that was distributed to the public to promote the culture of whistle- blowing.
Messenger of Court Mr Smart Moyo last Friday said his office was in full support of the campaign to combat corruption and urged his staff to be vigilant and stand up against the scourge of corruption.
He said corruption had become a cancer in many institutions and individuals. This, he said, there was need for everyone to collectively fight the scourge threatening the integrity of the justice delivery system.
“Our office will play its role to ensure the campaign against the scourge of corruption succeeds,” said Mr Moyo adding: “Our stance is ‘No’ to corruption. We are in full support of our sister departments in the fight against corruption.”
Mr Moyo said it was pointless “to try to bribe our staff because when we enforce court orders we would have been paid our fees to do the job. We cannot be stopped from executing our duties by people who have failed to settletheir debts”.
The Messenger of Court office, said Mr Moyo, had a duty to also educate people about how they operated as this would in a way combat corruption.
“People need to understand how we operate,” said Mr Moyo, who is also the president of the Association of Messengers of Court Zimbabwe. “We are paid our fees and surely for people to try to corrupt our officers to prevent them from doing their job will not do any good to the court orders we are enforcing.”
He warned the public against hindering his officers from enforcing court orders saying they risked being prosecuted for contempt of court. Mr Moyo said some people whose property had been attached did not give it up willingly and tried all sorts of things to frustrate the due process.
“We are now trying to conscientise the lawyers that when we attach property and found it removed or hidden we have to take these people to court because the property would be under judicial attachment,” said Mr Moyo.
“We have to stop that kind of conduct. They need to be aware the property under judicial attachment should not be tampered with. It is a crime and people risk being prosecuted for defying court orders.”
Guest of honour at the launch of the Against Corruption Together Campaign early this month Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is also Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, said as the country strived to attract investments, all stakeholders should fight corruption which destroys many people, moral values as well as the economy.
“There is need for a radical turnaround to build a strong justice system following numerous complaints lodged at my office regarding corruption at the lower courts, Sheriff and Messengers of Court,” said VP Mnangagwa.
“It is regrettable to note that lawyers who are supposed to combat corruption are also implicated. This shows some have no respect for their calling.”
The campaign to stamp out corruption in all sectors is expected to help attract investment flows into Zimbabwe.
The media was also urged to play a key role in fighting corruption.
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said all organisations should declare war on corruption, urging the police to improve their methods of detecting the vice.