By Tendai Madhomu
Police prosecutors have spent unnecessarily prolonged periods serving at the courts and will be recalled to resume normal police assignments, a circular from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) headquarters has indicated.
In the circular issued by the acting chief staff officer (Human Resources Administration) the police prosecutors are not supposed to serve at the courts for a period exceeding two years and canvassing for extensions will not be tolerated.
“This headquarters has, however, noted with great concern that some of the police prosecutors have spent prolonged periods on attachment at the magistrates courts.
“Resultantly this has not added value to the operational efficiency of the organisation,” read the circular.
“Henceforth, the attachments of the police prosecutors to the magistrates’ courts shall be for a temporary period of not more than two years.
“After expiry of the two years, the police prosecutors must report back to the station and resume normal police assignments.”
Last year Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said government was working on phasing out all non-degreed police public prosecutors seconded to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
He made the revelations during a question and answer session in the National Assembly after MDC MP Job Sikhala asked what the government was doing to deal with the problem of under-qualified individuals in the Judiciary.
In the circular, the ZRP indicated that it is keen on taping from the returning police prosecutors’ expertise on the application of law enforcement principles to crime investigation.
“Police prosecutors are expected to influence speedy disposal of dockets at the courts in order to reduce backlogs to manageable levels.
“The organisation and specifically investigators should derive maximum benefits from the experience and exposure of police prosecutors attached at the courts,” read the circular.
The acting chief staff officer said the law enforcement organisation reserves the right to attach and recall police prosecutors attached at courts
“As such police prosecutors attached to the courts remain subject to the Police Code of Conduct and if need arises, they may be called for mainstream policing duties.
“Commanders are enjoined to ensure that this directive is complied with religiously.” DailyNews