Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
Master of the High Court Mr Eldard Mutasa says Zimbabweans should take an active part in the formulation of laws as they have the power to include issues that affect them.
In an interview last week, Mr Mutasa said citizens were still wary of attending parliamentary consultative meetings on Bills to give their input and this had resulted in legislators using their own judgment to come up with some sections of the law.
“The problem we have is that when people are called to consultative meetings for new laws, they don’t take those consultations seriously. You find the parliamentarians come to empty halls.
“At the end of the day, the law makers will then have to do what they believe to be good,” he said.
Mr Mutasa also called on legislators to lobby for the amendment of inheritance laws.
He cited that the Deceased Estates Succession Act states that for one to be able to inherit the matrimonial home, they should have been staying at the property immediately before death.
For those in customary unions, Mr Mutasa said Section 68F of the Administration of Estates Act (Chapter 601) states that the spouse has to be at the property at the time of death.
“If the law says you have to be at the property prior to the death of a spouse, usually it means you have to be physically present a few days before death.
“This means if one is not at the property, it affects their chances of inheriting that property. But we have people that are away from home due to work commitments or were actually away seeking treatment for the deceased, they are currently not protected by the law,” he said.
He said although his office had realised that there were some injustices, they could not be compelled to rule on the basis of a morally compelling story, but would always follow the law.
“There is a little section of the law that needs to be updated so that it conforms with modernity.
“What is required is lobbying for an amendment in legislation because as it stands, we cannot play around with the law to suit individual situations.”
Mr Mutasa said the law was crafted in 1997 and has not been amended since then.