Marriages ban lifted & All Court Operations Restored To Normal:
Following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions by the President on Monday, Chief Justice Luke Malaba has lifted the ban on marriages and announced the resumption of normal court operations, including the offices of the Master and the Sheriff of the High Court.
CJ Malaba had suspended all regular court operations, including solemnisation of marriages, and scaled-down other courthouse activities following the announcement of the level four lockdown in January by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.
According to the Chronicle, Courts were operating under a special regime as the country was battling to curb rising Covid-19 cases, especially after the festive season.
In a statement, CJ Malaba said solemnisation of marriages should be conducted on the condition that only the parties to the marriage and their witnesses attend.
“The filing and processing of new cases, process, documents, pleadings, papers and court orders, including service and execution by the Sheriff and the Messenger of Court, shall be done in terms of the applicable Court Rules, legislation or court order,” he said.
“For the avoidance of doubt, accused persons originally remanded between 5 January 2021 and 1 March 2021, remain automatically remanded to the dates stated in Practice Direction 4 of 2021. Solemnisation of marriages shall be conducted provided that only the parties to the marriage and their witnesses shall be allowed to attend.”
Members of the public who have no business at the court will not be allowed to access the premises, entry into courtrooms shall only be limited to litigants, their lawyers, witnesses and identified members of the Press.
All persons will be required to undergo temperature checks, sanitise their hands at entry, wear face masks, avoid handshakes as well as maintaining social distancing.
Following the extension of the lockdown, the courts were required to restrict their activities only to urgent cases such as initial remands, urgent chamber and bail applications.
Proceedings for non-urgent cases both criminal and civil matters were automatically suspended for the extended period of the lockdown which expired on Monday.