VICE-PRESIDENT Kembo Mohadi yesterday revealed that government has given a directive that magistrates should not summon traditional leaders to courts over decisions made at traditional courts.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
Speaking at a meeting with chiefs from the Midlands province in Gweru, Mohadi said he had met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the two leaders agreed that magistrates should stop overturning decisions made at traditional courts.
“We have had chiefs complaining that they are being dragged to the Magistrates’ Courts after they have made their decisions at traditional courts,” Mohadi said.
“I met with Chief (Fortune) Charumbira (president of the Chiefs Council) over the issue and after that I discussed the matter with President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa and there is now a directive that it should never happen again. You are being looked down upon (by being summoned to the Magistrates’ Courts) and we don’t want that.”
Mohadi said it was disrespectful for traditional leaders to be summoned to the Magistrates’ Courts because judgments by chiefs made at traditional courts were their “decisions made at their own courts” which should not be questioned.
Speaking in 2014 at an annual chiefs’ conference, Chief Charumbira made a scathing attack on magistrates accusing them of interfering with traditional courts.
During that time Charumbira said after chiefs had presided over cases at traditional courts accused persons had a tendency of appealing at the Magistrates’ Courts “overturning our sentences”.
In 2016 the late Chief Chirumanzu, born Gerald Mudzengi was dragged to court by village headman, Sifile Chiradza, who demanded his beasts arguing that he had been wrongly convicted of incest at the traditional court.
Although a Mvuma magistrate at that time rescinded the chief’s judgment and ruled that Chief Chirumanzu should pay the equivalent of two beasts he had attached from Chiradza, the traditional leader died early this year with Chiradza still fighting in the courts to recover his cattle.
At the same meeting, Mohadi reiterated that the thorny Gukurahundi issue should be discussed freely and openly by people to find a lasting solution.
“We cannot run away from it (Gukurahundi)as leaders, but should resolve the matter,” he said.
He said Chiefs were critical in conflict resolution adding that for the country to develop there should be peace.