Government is set to phase out unqualified army and police officers who were seconded to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) in line with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act which stipulates that all law officers must be holders of a law degree at the very least.
However, the judicial system is filled with former army and police officers who were seconded as Prosecutors and Court Interpreters among others.
This is despite the country having an overwhelming number of qualified legal practitioners from local institutions including the Midlands State University, University of Zimbabwe and Great Zimbabwe University.
Responding to a question from Zengeza West Member of Parliament, Job Zikhala on the government policy with regards to phasing under-qualified personnel working in the Judiciary Services Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi said they were in the process of complying with the NPA regulations.
“I want to thank Hon. Sikhala for the question and indeed he is very correct. The NPA Act stipulates that all our law officers must have a 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 underqualified from our establishment,” he said.
Further asked to provide timelines on when the implementation of the NPA Act will take place, tongue in cheek, Ziyambi said the justice system needs to be respected to ensure that no vacuums are created in the vacated posts.
“Let me start by saying that we do not want to disturb the justice system. What we are doing is that we applied to the 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. We do not want to create a shortage when we have not been given posts. 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 time frame 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,” he noted.