Rights and Traditions

Traditional Leadership, Politics and Human Rights in Zimbabwe

This Policy Brief focuses on the role of traditional leaders in political affairs in Zimbabwe. It outlines the legal framework that governs Traditional Leadership in Zimbabwe before unpacking the main functions of traditional leaders recognized in terms of the law. Subsequent sections of the paper zero-in on the legal standards that regulate the conduct of traditional leaders with a specific focus on the political neutrality requirement enshrined in the constitution.

A comparative study is also included in this Policy Brief to juxtapose the legal regime that governs the conduct of traditional leaders concerning partisan politics in Zimbabwe with the approach adopted in Zambia, Ghana and South Africa. After highlighting the lessons that can be gleaned from these comparative case studies, the paper discusses the problems associated with the enforcement of ethical standards and protecting traditional leaders from abuse.

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