Zimbabwe’s chief judge Godfrey Chidyausiku today said it was unconstitutional to downgrade the conditions of service of sitting judges a move that immediately prompted Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to say that he would approach treasury to restore allowances for critical staff in various government departments. The government had announced that it would suspend retention allowances of between US$150 and US$400 for critical staff — among them magistrates, law officers, prosecutors and other legal officers — because it did not have cash. Chidyausiku said the move would impact negatively on justice delivery. “We have on other occasions pointed out that it is unconstitutional to reduce the conditions of service for judges while they are still in office. This serious breach of the Constitution persists to this date but we remain hopeful that our concerns shall be addressed as soon as the fiscal space allows,” he said.