Zimbabwe to phase out under qualified police prosecutors

Zimbabwe to phase out under qualified police prosecutors
Published: 20 November 2018
THE Government is working on phasing out all non-degreed police public prosecutors seconded to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has said.

Minister Ziyambi made the revelations during a question and answer session in the National Assembly last week after Zengeza West MDC MP Job Sikhala asked what the Government was doing to deal with the problem of under-qualified people in the Judiciary.

"The NPA Act stipulates that all our law officers must have a law degree and we are in the process of ensuring that we comply with that requirement (of the NPA Act) and very soon we will phase out all those who are under qualified from our establishment," he said.

However, Minister Ziyambi did not give timeframes, saying his ministry was waiting for Treasury to unfreeze recruitment of more Government staff before removing the seconded staff.

"We don't want to disturb the justice system. What we are doing is that we applied to Treasury so that we can be allocated posts and I am very happy that this year we got some posts that were allocated for prosecutors. So, progressively, as we fill in the posts, we will request that those that have been seconded should go back," he said.

"We do not want to create a shortage when we have not been given posts."

The Minister urged police prosecutors keen on joining the NPA to upgrade their qualifications through attaining law degrees.

"I acknowledge that we need to get rid of them. We have even encouraged those that are under qualified to go and upgrade their qualifications and join the Prosecution Unit since they are already there. So, for me to give a timeframe, it is not dependent on me alone but it is also dependent on Treasury when they give us a full complement of the staff that we require," said Ziyambi.

The NPA recently recruited a total of 102 prosecutors after Treasury gave the green light to employ at least 120 prosecutors to address the critical shortage of qualified staff. The NPA recently flighted a vacancy notice in the media inviting applications to fill positions of junior public prosecutors, senior public prosecutors, principal public prosecutors and chief public prosecutors.

The NPA has been operating with 315 prosecutors some of them non-degreed. There were reports from sources within the NPA that the massive recruitment of qualified personnel would see police and army prosecutors being sent back to their organisations.

However, the acting Prosecutor General, Mr Kumbirai Hodzi, at the time, said the seconded prosecutors were an essential component of the NPA. He said due to the increase in the number of courts across the country, the shortage of prosecutors would continue to persist.

- chronicle
Tags: Ziyambi,


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