MAGISTRATES are eligible for mortgages to acquire decent housing after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Building Society (NBS) last week.
JSC acting secretary Walter Chikwana said the provision of decent accommodation for magistrates and JSC staff was overdue.
In terms of the deal, signed by Mr Chikwana and NBS managing director Mr Lameck Danga in Harare last week, the bank will provide funding.
Mr Chikwana said the deal will go a long way in promoting the independence of judicial officers.
"There has always been a complaint about the need for decent accommodation for magistrates, primarily because of the nature of their job," said Mr Chikwana.
"One of our concerns has been having a magistrate who is a tenant and the landlord is an accused person or a litigant in a matter he or she is presiding, that magistrate will be compromised.
"I sincerely hope that this move will go a long way in improving and attending to accommodation challenges for our magistrates, especially some of our senior staff members.
"We also have judges who are having accommodation challenges and I hope this partnership will explore more ways of improving the welfare of JSC staff."
Mr Danga assured JSC that they will execute their objective diligently so that people see the real benefit.
"We are happy to be collaborating with our brothers and sisters," he said.
Acting chief magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi welcomed the development.
He said over the past years, there had been accommodation promises for the magistracy and JSC was now walking the talk.