PROSECUTOR-GENERAL Kumbirai Hodzi yesterday warned newly sworn-in magistrates to uphold professionalism to improve the justice delivery system.
Hodzi’s sentiments came a few days after he publicly admitted that corrupt cartels had captured State and private institutions, including the judiciary, stifling the fight against corruption.
He was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of 16 magistrates at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts where stakeholders in the justice delivery system — Judicial Services Commission, Law Society of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service and Zimbabwe Republic Police — were present.
Of the total, 13 are women and three are men, bringing the total staff complement to 235.
“You must exhibit the highest level of professionalism in everything that you do and integrity is a must, you must never compromise at all. There might be temptations or pressures but you must steadfastly refuse and never give in to those pressures,” Hodzi said.
“It is an onerous task because everyone, members of the public will come before you with high expectations.
“You might be young but the responsibility you are now carrying is quite heavy and you must do so impartially and with honour.”
Hodzi said he would be engaging with relevant authorities to ensure that magistrates are paid well.
“We will be working very hard to improve your conditions of service because you are high members of society now and that must be reflected in the remunerations that the State offers. It is a rewarding profession and you will enjoy it,” he said.
The acting chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi said the latest addition would help ease the pressure on the workload courts are seized with, adding that the magistrates are going to be deployed in towns outside Harare.
“It brings the total number of magistrates to around 235 and those additions always make us happier because of the numbers of cases that are being brought to the courts,” Mutevedzi said.
“If you read from our statistics the number of cases coming into both civil and criminal courts are increasing every year so that also calls for an increase in the manpower that we have.
“The addition of 16 magistrates is quite a welcome relief and certainly boosts our numbers and increases the rate at which we clear cases brought before the courts.”