In a statement issued Friday, the Magistrates Association of Zimbabwe said its members were disheartened by the lack of commitment by the Ministry of Finance to approve a salary increase that had been suggested in January this year by their employer Judicial Service Commission.
“Our salary negotiations have reached a dead end. We exercised our elastic patience until it snapped. We are completely disappointed and disillusioned. The only choice that is left open to us is to withdraw our labour. There would be no magistrate’s court sitting throughout the country starting on Monday the 4th of April 2011 until all our demands are met,” read the statement.
“The capitalist approach of giving us a wage which is just enough to keep body and soul together will not pacify us. We demand a living wage and until that is done we will not return to work.”
Munacho Mutevedzi, secretary general of the magistrate’s trade union, confirmed magistrates were going on strike.
Zimbabwe’s magistrates are demanding monthly salaries of US$600 for trainee magistrates, US$1000 for junior magistrates, US$1500 for senior magistrates, US$1700 for provincial magistrates and US$2000 for senior provincial magistrates.
They also want a monthly US$2 500 for regional magistrates, US$3 000 for senior regional magistrates and deputy chief magistrates and US$3 300 for a chief magistrate.