With support from the European Union (EU) and ICJ, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) held the first of two training of trainers in Bulawayo from 2-4 October 2015.
The training focused on regulations, code of ethics and prosecutorial guidelines and was attended by 50 senior prosecutors, senior law officers and office directors in attendance.
The participants are expected to then roll out the training at their various stations to cover the entire 500 women and men strong team of prosecutors.
Prior to adoption of the 2013 Constitution, prosecutors were supervised by the Attorney General under the Ministry of Justice.
Issues in respect of conduct, discipline, appointment, performance appraisal and other related conditions of service were dealt with through the line ministry and civil service commission.
The passage of the Constitution and the enactment of the NPA Act introduced the office of the Prosecutor General equally tasked with regulating the conduct of its staff through the NPA Board or any other delegated authority within the NPA.
The regulations and code of ethics were gazetted on 7 August 2015.
The code of ethics provides for the independence, integrity, propriety, impartiality, political engagement, competence and diligence of prosecutors in Zimbabwe.
The Prosecutor General also developed prosecutorial guidelines as mandated by the Constitution and the NPA Act on the institution of and conducting of criminal proceedings.
The objectives of the training were to equip senior officials with skills to conduct trainings for middle and lower officers to ensure greater compliance with the requirements of the new constitution of Zimbabwe; to familiarize senior officials on the regulations and code of conduct to ensure greater compliance with the requirements of the new constitution of Zimbabwe and to familiarize and train senior officials on the application of prosecutorial guidelines consistent with the requirements of the new constitution of Zimbabwe.
Following the completion of the trainings, the ICJ and NPA will conduct routine and random visits to different stations for purposes of observing the implementation, roll out of trainings and spot checks.
Remote support will also be provided in terms of statutes, such as the NPA Act, the regulations and code of ethics.
Further work is being explored to produce an updated prosecutor’s handbook that covers issues of prosecutorial conduct, ethics and guidelines.
Arnold Tsunga, ICJ Regional Director for Africa, t: +27 73 131 8411, e: arnold.tsunga(a)icj.orgNewsWeb stories