Chiefs demands salary for presiding traditional courts
CHIEFS have demanded a salary for presiding over traditional courts saying they have more duties compared to the magistrates’ courts.
Speaking during a two-day consultative workshop on the alignment of Traditional Leader’s Act that started in Bulawayo on Thursday, Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council president, Chief Fortune Charumbira, said traditional leaders attend to more cases than magistrates.
“Considering that 70 percent of Zimbabweans live in the rural areas, falling directly under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders, this clearly indicates that traditional leaders have more duties on their hands.
“We hold the greatest number of courts than the magistrates courts yet we are not paid for that service. We are instructed to charge a court fee of $5 at the traditional courts and pay the whole presiding crew from that $5.
“In a magistrate’s court, the fee is higher and a magistrate gets a salary. We want a reasonable salary for that service,” he said.
“Chiefs and their teams’ working conditions and services needed to be revised. There is a need to remove the colonial demon which is still revolving within us and instead give utmost consideration to culture and development.”
The new Constitution of Zimbabwe brought with it a raft of provisions set out in Chapter 15 regulating the establishment and functions of traditional leadership. It also introduced an expansive Bill of Rights anchored on constitutional values. The Traditional Leaders’ Act is the principal legislation which is supposed to give effect to the new constitutional framework on traditional leadership and governance. “Therefore, the traditional leaders Act must be realigned in order to give effect to Chapter 15 of the Constitution, the relevant provisions in the Bill of Rights and the spirit and object of the Constitution,” said Chief Charumbira. —@winnie_masara
Chief Fortune Charumbira