OVER 100 senior public prosecutors are reportedly stranded at various stations countrywide after the National Prosecuting Authority promoted and mass transferred them without footing their relocation costs.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
In a confidential memo seen by the NewsDay, Acting-Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi promoted 10 prosecutors to chief public prosecutors, 42 to principal public prosecutors and 44 to senior public prosecutors.
“Following interviews conducted by the authority to select suitable candidates to fill existing vacant posts on the establishment, the NPA board has approved the promotion and appointment of officers in the prosecution department listed on annexure A to posts indicated,” the memo, signed by board secretary Solomon Siziba, read.
Those promoted were immediately moved to new stations, where they assumed their new roles, but the majority said they were finding it difficult to relocate, as the NPA was failing to fund their relocation costs.
“Some officers are not affected because they were moved from one court to another, but in the same town or city. These are not affected, but those moved to other towns have to look for accommodation and move their property and are worst hit since the money for relocation will be staggered,” a representative of the affected prosecutors said.
The prosecutors, who earn a pittance, said they could not afford to fund their relocation.
“Most of the prosecutors are taking home less than $400 in salaries and surely one can’t afford to fund their transport for relocation if government does not provide the money before hand,” another prosecutor said.
A senior prosecutor, who is in grade 6, earns a basic salary of $467, excluding allowances which include housing, transport, legal and special civil service, which will carry their earnings to $935, according to a memo by Siziba.
Justice permanent secretary Virginia Mabiza said she was not aware of the challenges faced by the prosecutors and would have to check with the administration.
“That has not been brought to my attention, but I am aware that there were transfers and normally, they are allowed to check into a hotel for about 30 days while they look for accommodation. We are supposed to transfer them after making sure that we have provided for their relocation,” she said.