Traditional leaders in Chivi district, Masvingo province, have hailed the Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation (CPMRT) programme as a useful exercise that has assisted them in their traditional duties.
A number of traditional law functionaries in the district have testified, giving practical examples how the skills they learnt from the programme have helped them to mitigate conflicts that could have handled differently by the traditional courts.
In an interview in ward 15 last week, Blasio Midzi, a member of the Kraal Head’s advisory committee who chairs the Ward Local Peace Committee hailed ECLF’s peace-building initiatives and said they have helped to keep the Kraal Head’s advisory committee intact through the conciliatory work he has been doing drawing from the skills he acquired from the trainings.
“This programme has always been valued in our community which is why I was sent to the programme by the kraal head in the first place. It has changed the way we do business in the local traditional court. If it was not for this programme, there are a couple of people who could have been expelled from the chief’s advisory committee but I played a conciliatory role to block the expulsion,” said Midzi.
Midzi further added that that he has learnt to respect the law through the peace-building trainings. He also said that he is now a recognised peace-builder in the community and cases are now referred to him for resolution.
“The programmes taught me never to take the law into my own hands as I am not a lawyer, a magistrate or other trained officer of the law. People in the community know that I am a trained peace-builder and I am seconded to most cases that require conciliation in the community,” added Midzi.
In another interview, Young Ziburawa, secretary and son to a local headman concurred that his work is now easier because of the training he received. Speaking during an interview in his homestead, Ziburawa chronicled a case in which he resolves a conflict through dialogue which could have gone to the traditional court for resolution.
“I was faced with a conflict situation in which two young men had fought and injured each other in this ward. The source of the conflict was that one had called the other’s mother a prostitute and the whole situation blew up. This matter would ordinarily have gone to the traditional court but I summoned the two and mediated and diffused the conflict. Because of the training, I am able to address some conflicts here at home through dialogue rather than taking them to the courts where one of them would emerge poorer by losing a beast or other prized possessions,” said Ziburawa.
Many of the traditional leaders in Chivi district are beneficiaries of two CPMRT trainings that were held last year. Besides utilising their skills in their work, some of them are also active participants in the Local Peace Committees that ECLF assisted to establish and still supports.