Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations Editor
THE office of the Master of High Court, which handles inheritance cases, is now a Department in the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in line with the laws of the country.
The critical office also deals with companies’ liquidication, judicial management and business rescue cases.
Government approved the transfer of the office from the employ of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to the ministry in compliance with the Administration of Estates Act, which created the office in question.
General notice 3408 of 2021 gazetted last week announced the development.
“It is hereby notified that the office of the Master of High Court is now an office in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,and has been transferred from the Judicial Service Commission,” reads the notice. In a recent tweet, the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services said the transfer was done in terms of Section 3 of the Administration of Estates Act.
“In coming up with the decision, Cabinet noted that Section 3 of the Administration of Estates Act (Chapter6:01) which created the Office of the Master of the High Court clearly states that the office forms part of the Public Service.”
The piece of legislation in question reads:
“Subject to the law relating to the Public Service, there shall be a Master of the High Court; and a Deputy Master of the High Court; and an Assistant Master of the High Court at Bulawayo; and such further Assistant Masters of the High Court and other officers as may be necessary for the proper administration of this Act; whose offices shall be public offices and form part of the Public Service….”
The duties of the Master’s Office, according to the law, are more of executive functions, hence the office had to be moved from the judiciary.
The office, is headed by the Master of High Court Mr Eldard Mutasa and it has over 100 officers deployed in six different provinces.
The Master’s office, which is still in the process of decentralising, is now represented in Harare, Mutare, Chitungwiza, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Chinhoyi. It plays a critical role in the promotion of ease of doing business.