chief charumbira 17-11-10 ed.jpgThe Chiefs’ Council says there is need for the COPAC thematic committees to consider fully the views of the people on the role and authority of traditional leaders in society in the coming stages of the constitution making process.

Traditional leaders in the Chiefs’ Council and members of the select committee on the constitution making process converged in Harare to discuss the way forward regarding the inclusion of views expressed by the people on the authority and power of chiefs in the crafting of the new supreme law of the land.

Chief’s Council President, Chief Fortune Charumbira said it was very clear from the information gathering stage of the constitution making process that many Zimbabweans fully support that the powers of traditional leaders to deal conclusively with matters under their jurisdiction should be respected in the new constitution.

“People spoke during the data gathering stage about the role of chiefs and we expect that our authority will find a place in the constitution. We have experts here and we expect that as we go to the thematic stage our issues are clearly articulated,” Chief Charumbira said.

While the country has a vibrant institution of chiefs, there have been concerns over the apparent loss of respect for the traditional leaders while in some cases, there has been conflict between the traditional and the western type judicial systems.

The constitution making process, which was initially marred by various challenges, will this month proceed to the thematic stage before progressing to the drafting phase.

The country is expected to hold a referendum followed by general elections after the conclusion of the constitution making process as prescribed by the Global Political Agreement (GPA).