Traditional Leaders

Project Overview

Recognizing the importance and significance of traditional leaders in the provision of peace and security in Zimbabwe, the ZPSP has been engaging the leadership of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs since its inception. Traditional leaders have always been invited to attend thematic workshops and consultation activities conducted by the ZPSP.

The first major consultation workshop with traditional leaders was hosted jointly by the ZPSP and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, supported by the Centre for Security studies (Zurich), in October 2014. Thirty members of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs and eleven officials from government departments attended the workshop. This workshop provided technical training on mediation procedures and aimed to assist the Council of Chiefs to develop a coherent strategy for strengthening traditional leaders as providers of community security and justice.

The ZPSP continues to work with traditional leaders in other project areas, particularly the research component, where they are to be key stakeholders in the research on community security in Zimbabwe.


Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

o   The Swiss Federal Department of foreign Affairs gave financial support and provided experts for the workshop on building consensus in SST

Centre for Security Studies

o   The Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich gives technical support in the implementation of the workshop on building consensus in SST.

Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council

o   The Chiefs’ Council is the representative body for traditional leaders. The workshop for traditional leaders was coordinated jointly with the leadership of the Council.


o   ZIPSET members made presentations during the workshop on building national consensus


o   Consultations with traditional leaders at community level and with the leadership of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs

o   Involvement of traditional leaders in the on-going research on community security

o   Inclusion of traditional leaders in thematic workshops held for civil society

o   Traditional leaders who are members of the senate’s peace and Security Subcommittee have attended two workshops ZPSP has conducted on “parliamentary oversight of the security sector”.

o   A workshop entitled “Building national consensus on justice, peace and security-the role of traditional leaders”.

o   Supported the drafting of a training manual for traditional leaders with the aim of enhancing their capacity to provide peace and security services.  

o   Supported legal research and drafting of a Traditional Leaders Bill which seeks to propose amendments to the current Traditional Leaders Act in order to align it with the constitution


o   Workshop evaluations revealed that the traditional leaders attending ZPSP have improved their understanding of the concepts of mediation, parliamentary oversight and civil society ‘s role in peace and security in Zimbabwe

o   Through the workshop held in October 2014, traditional leaders developed priority areas where they need capacity in order to be more effective in their role of security and justice provision.

o   Production of a draft traditional leaders bill which the Council of Chiefs is to table before parliament

ZPSP activities have created space for dialogue between traditional leaders and government officials, civil society organisations and academics.