Justice Permanent Secretary Patricia Jere has observed that lawyers are shunning the opportunity because "of the huge work load and lack of incentives...lawyers shunned to work as magistrates in preference to private practice which was more lucrative...vacancies had not been filled because there were no magistrates on the market". Poor incentives are certainly part of the problem, but it still leaves us with an incomplete picture. I would suggest that there at least additional observations to be made.
The first is that a large part of the problem is poor reputation. The politicisation of the judiciary and general rampant corruption has forced many legal minds who are sincere in their duties to avoid working for the government. Being a magistrate goes far beyond simply doing a job, its about public service. When the public sector becomes tainted it becomes difficult to attract people.
A more serious problem Ms Jere would do well to consider is the poor quality of remaining magistrates. The poor reputation of the judiciary does not just prevent people from joining, but also leads to the exit of good magistrates and attraction of poor ones (those who can't make it as lawyers and are too corrupt). This is a classic market for lemons, with only the bad eggs left. Good wages alone wont fix this problem. What it needs is improvement in the professional standards, strong leadership at the top of judiciary and greater commitment to rooting out corrupt magistrates.