The Zimbabwean lower court system has ground to a halt in the second week of a strike magistrates, prosecutors and their supporting staff, sources said Thursday.

Magistrates walked off the job on Oct. 30 demanding an increase in their salary to a monthly Z$150 million on average from $20 million.

Sources familiar with court operations on Rotten Row in Harare said the system was in chaos, with only one court, staffed by a regional magistrate, was in session.

Staff of the country's high court were said to have joined the strike.

Law Society of Zimbabwe President Beatrice Mtetwa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the real victims of the strike are suspects being held pending arraignment who have not had the benefit of a bail hearing.

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