EVERY magistrate must be guarded by a police officer to protect him/her from attacks by the public, Zanu PF Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba, has said.
Chinotimba said this during question and answer session in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.
He suggested that magistrates and judges live are in danger due to the nature of their job where those aggrieved by either convictions or sentences might decide to seen vengeance.
"Our judges or magistrates are renting accommodation. Is it not possible for them to be given security. Those people are exposed due to the nature of their job which involves convicting and sentencing people to imprisonment," Chinotimba said.
"The safety of the judicial officer in those communities will not be guaranteed. Is it not possible for each magistrate to have a well equipped police officer to guard him/her?" he asked
But Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi dismissed Chinotimba's idea saying: "As government, we have heard Hon. Chinotimba's views but our thrust is on building houses at secure areas for our judicial officers and then provide security," Ziyambi said.
Ziyambi however admitted that indeed the judicial officers were having challenges in securing their own accommodation.
"We have several of our magistrates who live within the community and some and some in rented accommodation which is not ideal. What we are doing is that we are coming up with a plan in conjunction with Housing Ministry to have institutional accommodation for our magistrates as well as our judges so this is now work in progress and we are going to remove them from shared accommodation," said Ziyambi.
Zanu PF MP for Chegutu West Dexter Nduna chipped in and requested that Ziyambi should consider places that can accommodate magistrates provision for personal security.
"A complex housing development place such as a prison complex would be ideal. Would it please the minister to go and have such complexes with security for our magistrates," Nduna said.
Ziyambi dismissed the idea preferring construction of new houses.
"It is not possible. We are having accommodation challenges for our staff at prison complexes as well so the only way is to have institutional houses for our officers."