Leonard Ncube , Victoria Falls Reporter
THE Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has said various courthouses that are under construction countrywide including Lupane Magistrates’ Court in Matabeleland North, will be ready for occupation between March and June next year.

The JSC undertook to refurbish courtrooms and construct new courthouses countrywide in an effort to improve access to justice.

Most of the projects had stalled because of the lockdown while progress was generally slow in some cases particularly in Gwanda because of funding challenges among other problems.

Work resumed in June after stopping in March at most sites.

Treasury is funding the projects although release of funds has been slow according to JSC.

JSC Secretary Mr Walter Chikwanha on Wednesday toured the Lupane Court construction site where he said he was happy with progress so far.

Lupane court is one of the many Government projects including Elitsheni Government Complex (now Welshman Mabhena Building), Lupane Provincial Hospital, Lupane State University and others which are set to stir growth of the Matabeleland North provincial capital.

The projects are part of decentralisation of services to provinces and districts in line with Government’s devolution mantra.

Mr Kudakwashe Kutywayo, an architect at a company undertaking the project, bemoaned water shortages which he said were slowing down progress.

“The main structure and toilet block are in place waiting for fixing of ring beam. We expect that by end of April next year the structure will be complete and ready for occupation.

“Our challenge now is water on site which I hope with the intervention of the Secretary here it will be solved,” he said.

JSC spokesperson Ms Rumbidzai Takawira said the commission is engaged in various projects around the country in a bid to achieve world class justice in Zimbabwe.

“We have four structures in place namely the main structure, ablution block, waiting shade and the cell block.

“The main structure, shade and ablution are at the superstructure level and waiting for ring beam while the cell block is at slab level,” she said.

Ms Takawira bemoaned delays caused by the Covid-19 outbreak as well as water challenges.

Currently construction workers are using borehole water but the supply is low.

Besides Lupane, JSC is also refurbishing Hwange Magistrates’ Courts building which had over the years been damaged by termites and baboons.

“A massive project is underway in Chinhoyi where a double storey structure is being erected.

“The new court is going to house both the High Court and Magistrates’ Courts for Mashonaland West and the project is set to be completed and commissioned in March 2021,” said Ms Takawira.

She said other projects are Mt Darwin Magistrates Courts which is set to be completed in January 2021, Tshovani in Chiredzi and Epworth in Harare whose completion and commissioning is set for June next year. — @ncubeleon