Chiefs de­mands salary for pre­sid­ing tra­di­tional courts

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara Chron­i­cle Re­porter

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

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