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High staff turnover dogs JSC

by Staff reporter
01 Jun 2023 at 01:45hrs | Views
THE Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is worried about the high turnover of magistrates which is largely being driven by poor working conditions.

At least 17 magistrates are among the 112 JSC staff members who resigned last year alone.

In its 2022 annual report tabled recently in Parliament, JSC said it hoped to implement a cocktail of interventions such as allocation of vehicles for use by magistrates to help deal with the high number of resignations.

"The need to pay adequate salaries and allowances to judges, magistrates and other members of the Judicial Service remains an area of grave concern to the commission," says the JSC report.

"The commission believes that its members should always be paid salaries and allowances that are commensurate with the work they do. This is the only way that the high figures of resignations reported elsewhere in this report may be reduced.

"Although the statistics of magistrates who resigned dropped from 18 in 2021 to 17 in 2022, the high turnover remains a cause for concern. It appears that perceived poor working conditions spur the resignations as exit interviews consistently show that those who leave do so to seek greener pastures."

On judges, the JSC said out of the 73 judges in office in 2022, 70 remained on the bench.

"At the beginning of 2022, there were 73 judges in office. One judge, the Honourable Mr Elijah Justice Makomo sadly passed on, on December 25, 2022. Two judges, the Honourable Mr Justice Thompson Mabhikwa and the Honourable Mrs Edith Mushore vacated office in terms of section 187 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Those developments left 70 judges in office at the end of 2022 with the gender ratios standing at 40 male and 30 female judges."

The report says 163 members left the judicial service in 2022, with 25 having been discharged, 112 resignations, 11 retired and 15 deaths.

"The number is an increase from the 146 recorded in 2021."

The report said the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 laid bare the weaknesses of the country's court systems, which were dependent on human input and presence.

This prompted the JSC to implement  the Integrated Electronic Case Management System and virtual courts.

Source - newsday