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n Gender and Behaviour - Presenting ngozi as an important consideration in pursuing transitional justice for victims : the case of Moses Chokuda

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1596-9231
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Abstract

The pursuit of transitional justice has been ongoing in Zimbabwe since pre-colonial times. A plethora of mechanisms and institutions have been used to seek redress and reconciliation in both conflict and post conflict times. The adaptation of Roman Dutch law in Zimbabwe saw these traditional methods such as ngozi assuming an inferior role in the country's justice system. This article narrates the case of Moses Chokuda who was murdered in a case of politically motivated violence in Gokwe District in Zimbabwe in 2008. His case presents a propitious opportunity for two aspects; the analysis of everyday grassroots transitional justice mechanisms at work and the evaluation of their efficacy in comparison with prosecutorial transitional justice in the absence of the rule of law. Moses' case was dealt with concurrently by the traditional mechanism of ngozi and the modern prosecutorial courts. For more than three years Moses practically 'refused to be buried'. His family was adamant that Moses will only be buried when they receive compensation from his murderers, their incarceration notwithstanding. The article notes the need for ngozi to be officially recognized as complimentary to the formal justice system in post colonies like Zimbabwe. This implies the necessity of a greater focus on how ngozi is specifically being used as a transitional justice mechanism and how its use shapes personal and political decisions. The aim of this analysis is to demonstrate that traditional mechanisms, operating in a context of legal and political impunity, still make a contribution to transitional justice.

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/content/genbeh/13/2/EJC182547
2015-12-01
2017-03-28

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