Finance minister Tendai Biti has approved a salary increase for magistrates and their support staff with a provincial magistrate now earning $730, up from about $300 per month.
The increment, backdated to July, was confirmed in a Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretariat salary key scale dated August 24.
Initially, the magistrates were demanding $1 700 for provincial magistrates with trainee magistrates clamouring for $600.
According to the new salary scale, trainee magistrates are now entitled to $504 per month.
The latest development came after a series of meetings between the Zimbabwe Magistrates’ Association, Treasury and JSC after magistrates went on a go-slow in February pressing for a salary adjustment.
According to a letter written on behalf of the Secretary for Finance Willard Manungo by E F Vela-Moyo directed to the Secretary of the JSC, the new salary structure was approved on August 24.
“Please refer to your minutes of the 2nd August 2011 and 28th June respectively on the above cited matter. Consistent with the position taken in April 2011 regarding magistrates’ grades, Treasury hereby approved for implementation, the attached Judicial Service Commission scale, effective July I 2011,” reads Vela-Moyo’s letter to the JSC.
The circular was copied to all provinces by the Chief Magistrate’s Office on August 30.
But, president of the Zimbabwe Magistrates’ Association Douglas Chikwekwe yesterday said he was unaware of the new salary increment.
The latest development is likely to cause discontent in the justice delivery system with prosecutors reportedly demanding an urgent meeting with Attorney-General Johannes Tomana for a redress of the salary discrepancy between them and magistrates.