WINDHOEK, 24 APR – Construction of the first phase of the N$ 53 million regional court building at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region is scheduled for completion by June this year.
The new building of the Ministry of Justice will accommodate both regional and magistrate courthouses at the north-eastern town.
This was announced by Deputy Minister of Justice, Lidwina Shapwa when delivering her ministry’s budget motivation statement in the National Assembly recently.
Shapwa said the new facility in Katima Mulilo’s Soweto area would help the ministry render the needed improved access to legal and justice services, ensuring that criminal offenders are being held to account for their wrong actions and making sure trust in the country’s justice system is promoted at all times.
Shapwa said the Zambezi Region is among the regions where magistrates and supporting staff work in difficult circumstances and for this reason, her ministry took the initiative to address this challenge by constructing the new state-of-the-art court building.
Construction work started in April 2015.
Furthermore, Shapwa said first phase alterations and additional construction works were also carried out on the Windhoek High Court during the 2016/17 financial year, and this project is estimated to cost her ministry a total amount of N.dollars 35 million.
The Windhoek High Court project is expected to be completed during the 2018/19 financial year.
“The completion of the renovation works at the Windhoek High Court were jeopardised by the tardiness of the contractor. The situation had to be rescued and the Ministry of Works and Transport was requested to terminate this contract in order to engage a new contractor to complete the project,” elaborated Shapwa.
She explained that this resulted in the non-spending of a significant amount of funds, which were allocated for this purpose.
“However, once the new contractor is on site, the project will continue as soon as possible as the current situation at the Windhoek High Court is unconducive,” she continued.
Other upgrading work executed entailed the construction of additional offices at the Omaruru Magistrate’s Court in the Erongo Region and the Kamanjab Periodical Court in the Kunene Region.
“These upgrading activities have reduced the lack of office space and dilapidated building conditions at the two court facilities,” noted Shapwa.
Shapwa then sought the indulgence of her fellow parliamentarians to fully support and approve the Justice Ministry’s allocation of N.dollars 304 829 000 for the 2018/19 financial year.