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Zimbabwe Prosecutors & Court Officers Embark on Strike Over Salaries

  • Thomas Chiripasi
  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

General Secretary Dereck Charamba of the Zimbabwe Law Officers Association said his association is unhappy with salary differences between magistrates and state prosecutors and support staff

Zimbabwean prosecutors and court officers embarked Tuesday on a strike demanding salaries comparable to those received by magistrates, paralyzing the legal system and staging a demonstration outside Attorney General Johannes Tomana's office.

General Secretary Dereck Charamba of the Zimbabwe Law Officers Association said his association is unhappy with salary differences between magistrates and prosecutors and support staff, though many of them have the same civil service employment grade.

Charamba said magistrates also receive allowances not received by other workers. He said his association has taken the matter up with the Public Service Commission, as VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported from Harare.

Tomana referred questions on the action to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa who did not respond to phone calls. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said there is no room in the government's budget for further salary increases for state employees.

Strikes have become more common in Zimbabwe as state employees demand higher wages - railway workers and college instructors briefly went on strike last week.

Economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said disgruntled workers are exercising their democratic right and the government should reassess its budgetary priorities.

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