UNRESOLVED chieftainship disputes have flooded the High Court roll, as government delays the realignment of the Traditional Leaders Act with the new Constitution, Attorney-General, Prince Machaya has said.
Source: Chieftainship disputes clog High Court roll: AG – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 14, 2016
By Tatenda Chitagu
Speaking at an inter-ministerial task force public engagement meeting on the alignment of laws at Chivi Rural District Council boardroom last Friday, Machaya said it was difficult for President Robert Mugabe to intervene in the disputes because the Traditional Leaders Act has not yet been aligned with the new Constitution.
“There are a lot of chieftainship disputes that have flooded the High Court. When there is a dispute, the Constitution says they should be resolved by the President, but the Traditional Leaders Act says otherwise. We need to align the Traditional Leaders Act with the new Constitution. The Act should be in tandem with the Constitution,” he said, without giving statistics.
“We used to go to the High Court representing government. We would usually, basing on the previous Constitution, say the President used his discretion and it is final and no court would overrule that.
“But the new Constitution says such disagreements should be brought to the President after coming from the provincial council of chiefs. But I doubt if the provincial council of chiefs has been set up as yet.”
Machaya said government had aligned 154 laws out of 296 statutes that need attention and was working towards aligning the remaining Acts with the new Constitution.
“We have covered 40% of the alignment process and we are working night and day to see to it that many laws are brought before Parliament and debated. Despite the challenges we face, we are committed to aligning the laws. This is not an overnight thing, but needs our concerted commitment with Parliament.