|Zim faces acute shortage of prosecutors|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2012 00:00|
The Attorney-General’s Office is facing an acute shortage of qualified prosecutors with 175 vacant posts across Zimbabwe. This has forced the AG’s Office to engage policemen to do prosecutorial duties at most magistrates’ courts countrywide.
The shortage is reportedly more acute in small towns where most offices are manned by ZRP members. Attorney-General Mr Johannes Tomana yesterday said the problem has been there since 2009 when the inclusive Government came into existence. He blamed Finance Minister Tendai Biti for the shortages after freezing recruitment of qualified prosecutors and compromising the justice delivery system.
Mr Tomana said: “We have a very serious shortage of qualified prosecutors at the moment in all provinces and at the moment we have 175 vacant posts for prosecutors but we have not been able to fill them because of a freeze in recruitment.
“In fact, since the coming into life of the inclusive Government we have not been able to recruit new qualified prosecutors and that has in turn caused the prevailing shortage of prosecutors at most courts throughout the country.
“We have not even been able to replace even those vacancies created as a result of deaths or resignations because of the freeze and this affects the speedy resolution of cases that will be pending at the courts,’’ he said.
Mr Tomana said some cases have taken longer to complete because of the shortages.
The regional and magistrates’ courts in Masvingo require 15 prosecutors but have seven while the rest are policemen.
The Chiredzi Magistrates’ Court has three instead of four prosecutors while there are no qualified prosecutors in Triangle.
The same situation prevails at the magistrates’ court in Bikita, Chartsworth, Gutu, Zaka, Chivi, Mwenezi and Mashava.