MAGISTRATES are pushing government for a review of their salaries and provision of housing and vehicle loans which they argue are crucial in motivating them to perform their duties.
The proposals were made during the Magistrates Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) annual general meeting held in Victoria Falls last weekend.
Magistrates Association of Zimbabwe secretary general Donald Ndirowei told the Zimbabwe Independent the magistrates had resolved to create a permanent secretariat in MAZ that would work full time to address magistrates’ issues.
“…The welfare of magistrates was a major issue. The salaries are not enough, so we discussed ways of improving the welfare. We asked the employer (Judicial Service Commission) to assist magistrates in building their own houses, especially assisting them in assessing loans,” said Ndirowei. “In addition we asked for motor vehicle loans and CBZ is assisting in that. We are also engaging other strategic partners to assist us and our employers (JSC). A strategic outline of the resolutions and issues discussed will be out soon.”
Speaking at the official opening of the ceremony, Chief Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe said JSC was working on means to improve salaries and working conditions for its magistrates.
Guvamombe, who is also a judicial service commissioner, said every regional magistrate was going to get either a Toyota Hilux or Ford Ranger double cab. He said the JSC had already acquired vehicles for some.
In August secretary of the JSC Rita Makarau appearing before parliamentary committee on Human Rights said Zimbabwe’s magistrates are the lowest paid judicial officers in the region, expose magistrates to corruption.
Makarau said the welfare of magistrates was of concern to the commission as at time this could compromise their independence.