International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Interrogating the Zimbabwean Traditional Jurisprudence and the Position of Women in Conflict Resolution. A Case of the Shona Tribes in Muzarabani District.
Monica Matavire

This article describes the Zimbabwean traditional jurisprudence in relation to conflict resolution. The study is based on the construction of a grounded theory which is supported by gathering data from observation and interviews. The purpose was to find out the extent to which women’s rights are observed in the Zimbabwe traditional (customary) law. This study was based on the premise that traditional jurisprudence seeks to bring justice to persons who have been unjustly treated. African traditional law is described as corrective whereupon it is used in correcting civil cases such as theft, assault, rape, witchcraft and ritual cases like murder before they are reported further to formal courts. Traditional courts use compensatory justice since there are no custodial sentences. However, although compensatory justice seeks to resolve questions like; how much compensation injured persons are due? And to whom and from whom is compensation due? The Zimbabwean traditional court system appears to base compensation on other considerations, which may as well infringe on women’s rights. This research uncovered that the position women among the Shona tribes of Muzarabani remains that of minors despite worldwide call for observation of human rights by women organisations. A woman in the Shona customary community may play an inferior role to that of her first child if the child is a boy.

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