via Chiefs need law training: Makarau – DailyNews Live 28 August 2014 by Chengetai Zvauya
HARARE – Justice Rita Makarau has said traditional chiefs need to undergo basic training in customary law.
Makarau, who is secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Supreme Court Judge, made the remarks yesterday, before the parliamentary thematic committee on Human Rights chaired by Zanu PF legislator Mike Nyambuya.
Makarau said there has been a lot of disagreements on the interpretation of the law between the traditional chiefs and magistrates, which, she said, needed to be ironed out.
“Customary Courts are our part of the law and are under the administration of traditional chiefs and we have magistrates not agreeing with some of the rulings they make,” Makarau said.
“Some of the people working in the Customary Courts are not trained in law as they are appointed through birth since the courts are traditional. I am not trying to undermine them but I believe that they need to be trained in law.”
JSC is a constitutional body which employs all manpower in the ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
She said they had engaged the chiefs’ president Fortune Charumbira and had agreed to empower chiefs with legal knowledge.
Traditional chiefs have complained over the relegation of customary law to the periphery.