Statement by the WLSA Board Chairperson
2015 was a good year relatively for WLSA Zimbabwe. We managed to raise substantial resources for WLSA programmes. We extend our gratitude to all the funding partners for the support that we received. Without this support we would not have been able to implement our programmes. We thank all the stakeholders who include our key line Ministries of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; women, men, girls and boys in the various communities that we interacted with. In 2015, we worked successfully with the Law Society of Zimbabwe on the continuous professional development programme where we engaged with lawyers on the law of succession. We noted as WLSA that a course on the law of succession is not compulsory at the local universities but lawyers are expected to write wills and sometimes act as estate administrators.
Our help desk located at the courts in Chitungwiza, Harare and Norton continued to experience a significant increase in the number of clients seeking legal advice and services. The same goes to the mobile legal aid clinics where as WLSA we brought the law to the people. Of particular note are cases of inheritance where WLSA provided services such as filling court forms, giving legal advice, attending edict meetings and in some instances filing cases at the courts in conjunction with identified law firms. Most of the cases involved wives challenging wills which left them out. We also used an integrated approach on fusing legal rights and socio-economic rights. Women and men whom we had trained on the legal framework on property and inheritance rights using the empowerment circles model were provided with skills training and furnished with materials to enhance their economic activities. We look forward to an even better 2016 as we strive to ensure that women and girls equitably access justice.
DR Margaret Rukuni