The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Tuesday officially launched the virtual court system for cases to be completed with speed and efficiency.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has in the past failed to take prisoners to court due to transport and fuel challenges, and also restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the event in Harare, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the virtual platform would allow for bail applications to be made online as it is also cost-effective. He said:
Carrying out virtual hearings has many advantages — both to the courts and the litigating public.
Matters are finalised expeditiously and there is the added advantage of participating in the court proceedings in the comfort of your home or office.
Inmates are expected to appear before the courts regularly for routine remands and trials.
The pandemic has at times caused inmates not to appear before the courts as required because of the restrictions imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Through the virtual court hearing platform, it is no longer necessary for inmates to appear physically in court as they can interact with the court virtually while they are in prison.
Other countries that are using the virtual court system include South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Gambia, India and England.