Masvingo Bureau
Over 750 chiefs and headmen countrywide will soon under-go training to equip them with legal skills as part of Government efforts to improve justice delivery at the traditional courts.

Besides training in customary law, the traditional leaders will also be imparted with skills in local governance for them to be able to fully administer areas under their jurisdiction. The training begins at the end of this month and is funded by the United Nations Development Programme, Legal Resources Foundation together with Ministries of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development. Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira yesterday said logistics were now in place for the resumption of the training programme.

He said the training would be done in conjunction with the faculties of law at the University of Zimbabwe, Midlands State University and Great Zimbabwe University. Trainees will receive certificates from the three institutions of higher learning.

“The training will first target all the 276 chiefs in the country and we have plans to further train about 480 headmen during the programme that will start at the end of March, but will be done province by province and in phases,’’ said Chief Charumbira.

“Trainees will receive certificates, diplomas and even degrees for those who might want to go further.’’

Chief Charumbira said drafting of the curriculum for the training has already been completed with the trainers expected to commence the programme soon.

“The whole idea is to improve the justice delivery system at the level of community and primary courts that are presided over by chiefs and headmen respectively. Traditional leaders have a lot to learn about the management of the court processes and ensuring natural justice for people who appear before them. They will also be taught about rights of the accused and even record keeping of cases that would have passed through them,’’ said chief Charumbira.