ZIMBABWE has been hit by a shortage of magistrates following a job freeze imposed by the treasury on government departments in a development that has compromised justice delivery.
Most of the magistrates reportedly work more than 100 hours per week against the recommended 60 hours with over 10,000 criminal cases said to be pending before the courts.
Chief magistrate Elisha Singano said out of an authorised establishment of 250 magistrates, only 201 are in post.
He was speaking Friday during the swearing in of magistrates Perseverance Makala, Isabel Nyoni and Amanda Muridzo at Rotten Row courts in the capital.
"There are 49 vacancies in the department but unfortunately due to job freeze imposed by treasury we cannot recruit," said Singano.
He added that said 13 magistrates were acting in different capacities in the judicial service and urged authorities to lift the recruitment freeze so that the vacancies can be filled.
Singano said the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretariat was seized with the matter, adding they were waiting with bated breath for the outcome of that engagement.