The effectiveness of the traditional justice system in resolving disputes in three chiefdoms of Monze district.

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Siang’ombe, Mateo
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The University of Zambia
The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the Traditional Justice System in the resolution of disputes in three chiefdoms of Monze district. The research design used in this study was a mixed method design. This is a method that involves collecting, analyzing and integrating qualitative and quantitative data. The study was motivated by the perceived uncertainties in the effectiveness of traditional courts by certain sectors of society especially those in urban areas. This study design was anchored on the following objectives; to find out people’s awareness regarding the way traditional courts resolve disputes; to assess the effectiveness of traditional courts in resolving disputes; to find out whether people are satisfied or not with the way traditional courts handle disputes and to establish the challenges faced by traditional courts. The target population included residents from the three chiefdoms of Monze district; namely Moonze, Choongo and Hamusode. The sample size comprised of 50 participants which included 6 traditional leaders, 3 traditional court judges, 30 subjects, 1 magistrate, 2 local court judges and 2 officials from Ministry of Chiefs and traditional affairs. The sampling technique used was purposive sampling and data was collected using questionnaires and interview guides. The findings of the study reviewed that the traditional justice system is effective in resolving disputes in Monze district. In addition, it was also discovered that traditional courts are highly respected and they are a preferred mode of dispute resolutions in these communities. It was also discovered that most of the subjects from the three chiefdoms said that they were satisfied with the way traditional courts resolved disputes because these courts are legitimate. However, the effectiveness of traditional courts tends to be affected by the many challenges such as corruption, contempt, discrimination against women, lack of modernized court rooms and many others challenges which must be eliminated. In order to enhance the effectiveness of traditional courts, the following were the recommendations. The government may consider formalizing traditional courts, building modernized customary courtrooms, paying traditional court judges, and many other recommendations that may enhance the effectiveness of traditional courts. In conclusion, this study is very significant because it reviews that having effective traditional justice systems is the beginning of having peaceful communities. This is so because traditional courts promote law and order at village level where statutory courts and the police are not found. Lastly, they help to decongest the mainstream courts because certain disputes are resolved by elders at village level there by promoting equitable justice to the majority poor in rural areas.
Conflict management--Case studies. , Customary law--Africa. , Courts--Zambia. , Customary law courts--Zambia. , Justice, Administration of--Zambia.