Back to Index
end in sight for Zimbabwe judiciary strike
November 25, 2007
The government said it was unable to raise salaries to end a strike
of magistrates and state prosecutors that has crippled the Zimbabwe's
court system, official media reported Sunday.
The Public Service
Commission said magistrates were classed as civil servants whose
salaries were only due to be reviewed early next year, the state
Sunday Mail newspaper said.
service pay demands have been put off after the government said
it had run out of money in the current budget to meet pay increases
in the crumbling, hyperinflationary economy.
earns about 20 million Zimbabwe dollars a month, or US$15 (€10)
at the dominant black market exchange rate, a third less than the
official poverty line.
the world's highest inflation of 15,000 percent though unofficial
estimates put it closer to 40,000 percent.
Prices of individual
items are not reflected in inflation calculations. A regular pack
of six pork sausages was on sale at a Harare supermarket Sunday
for 11 million Zimbabwe dollars (US$9, €6), more than half
a magistrate's salary and a thirty fold price increase this month.
In July, the
government ordered prices of all goods and services slashed by about
half to combat inflation but the move left shelves bare of the corn
staple, meat, bread, sugar and basic foods.
has allowed some prices to be raised to restore supplies but has
not been able to enforce remaining price controls.
salary buys ten liters (two gallons) of scarce gasoline.
The Sunday Mail,
a government mouthpiece, quoted one unidentified striking magistrate
saying he was forced to hitch rides to the court before he stopped
come to court, I usually catch a lift with the public, some of whom
turn up in my court as an accused person. Because of low salaries,
we remain exposed to corruption," he said.
30 judges, hundreds of magistrates run provincial and district courts.
The Sunday Mail said senior magistrates and police prosecutors were
keeping some courts open to reschedule a growing backlog of cases.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.