CHIEFS have appealed to the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs to conduct training for newly installed chiefs and those in an acting capacity quarterly to ensure that they all have presiding officers' certificates. A presiding officer's certificate, according to
the President of the Chiefs' Council Chief Fortune Charumbira, is a document issued to an individual chief after a training course by the Judicial Service Commission.
Most substantive chiefs who were installed long back hold those certificates but a few newly elected and some acting chiefs do not.
"Although the certificate is a just written proof that one is personally empowered to preside over cases, there is need for the issuance to be done more often.
"Traditional leaders derive their authority to preside over cases from their positions as chiefs but such certificates as required administratively should be issued in time.
"The Judicial Service Commission should conduct the training sessions for chiefs and subsequently issue out certificates at least thrice a year to ensure that all chiefs and acting chiefs are in possession of the document," said Chief Charumbira.
Chief Charumbira said he had met the secretary of the JSC Justice Rita Makarau and Chief Magistrate Mr Mishrod Guvamombe over the issue.
"Last week we (chiefs) had a meeting with Justice Makarau and the chief magistrate over the issue of training courses and presiding officers' certificates.
"About 10 newly appointed chiefs and acting chiefs do not have the certificates.
"Those are the most affected because JSC would go for up to three years without issuance of the certificates due to financial constraints.
"Acting chiefs are expected to occupy the office for up to two years and at times their terms expire without ever holding the certificate," said Chief Charumbira.
However, Chief Charumbira emphasised that all the 270 chiefs in Zimbabwe have authority to preside over cases by virtue of being traditional leaders.