PROSECUTORS have vowed to resist the government’s move to house them in communal blocks of flats to ensure their safety and minimise contact with the public.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor-general Kumbirai Hodzi announced this week that those handling high-profile cases required protection.
Hodzi said the government was in the process of buying suitable accommodation for the first batch of prosecutors dealing with special cases.
The NPA will soon acquire a prime property in central Harare, which will be turned into a prosecutorial village. Similar facilities will be established in other parts of the country.
“As part of the president’s strategy to ring-fence the prosecutors, they will be put in prosecutorial villages and sterilised from any communication or any potential communication from characters that are likely to compromise them,” he said.
“The ministries of Local Government and Public Works as well as that of National Housing and Social Amenities have taken teams in the province to identify office space and houses for prosecutorial teams. This has never happened before. In each province, pieces of land have been identified where we can construct the prosecutorial villages.
“We have identified blocks of flats that are going to be purchased for prosecutors. These will be self-contained.
“The villages will have supermarkets and all amenities required by the prosecutors, so that they are not just seen roaming in ordinary supermarkets or places of entertainment,” he said.
But some senior state attorneys who spoke to Zimbabwe Independent dismissed Hodzi as a daydreamer.
“I hope he either mixed issues or is just joking, otherwise, one needs to be daydreaming to think that could happen,” one top prosecutor, who cannot be named for fear of victimisation, said.
“It may work for those new prosecutors who are starting up and would be grateful for free accommodation but those hardly ever handle the top corruption cases. Some of us are now more accomplished in the job and have settled fully elsewhere. That move will most certainly be resisted.”
Another prosecutor chipped in: “The idea of establishing prosecutorial villages is good but they are very expensive to run for a government already struggling to meet a lot of its financial obligations. One would think it is wiser to use money on crumbling health institutions or land where prosecutors can build their own houses. Our salaries must be improved to enable us to build houses. That way, corruption within that sector can be minimised.” — Staff Writer.