Mtetwa: Judges clueless about the new constitution

LEADING human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, has said that local judges do not understand the country’s new constitution in a development that is affecting the full enjoyment of citizens’ rights.

The chairperson of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights urged civil society to help educate the judiciary on the provisions the new charter.

“I go to court very often and I can tell you that I have dealt with some cases where you can see that our judges are not yet ready to understand what the constitution says,” she said.

Mtetwa was addressing delegates to International Women’s Day commemorations in Harare last Friday.

Human rights organisations, she added, should fund constitution-training programs to help judges appreciate what the new charter entails.

“I believe that its organizations like the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights which must make sure that our judiciary understands that what is in the constitution must be given life to.


“If the constitution says that Women must have equal access to land, the courts must do what the constitution says by specifically discriminating in favour of women in some of those resources.”

She added: “There should be special understanding of those provisions by ensuring that the judicial services commission gets judges, particularly in the family court, to understand that rights are there to be enjoyed not just to say we have a constitution which says there are these rights.”