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Review Article Open Access

The efficacy of Traditional Courts in Conflict Transformation in Zimbabwe: A case of Musana Communal Area in Bindura District


The study explored the efficacy of the traditional courts in conflicts transformation in Musana communal area, Bindura District. Galtung’s conflict transformation perspective and Lederach’s peace building approach guided the study. Basing on ubuntu philosophy in the understanding of ontological and epistemological issues surrounding the reality of traditional courts, the study was qualitative in which a case study design was used. Unobtrusive observation in the Chief Musana Community Court, followed by focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were carried out from a sample of [N=68] participants with the use of thematic guiding notes. Findings indicated the roles of traditional courts that involved arbitration, negotiation, conciliation; mediation and reconciliation were effectively employed and found to be powerful in facilitating compensation, reparation and forgiveness between parties in conflict. The study discovered that such reliance is due to the extensive application of indigenous customary law based on ubuntu, and methods of conflict transformation and reconciliation in the adjudication of conflicts during the court process. In order to yield maximum fruits in conflict transformation, the traditional courts personnel should acquire relevant training, especially in statutes governing their institutions in order to rejuvenate their dexterity that was established to be incapacitating the institution.

David Makwerere*, Tiki Chigariro, Innocent Madenga, Enock Chikohora

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