Statement by the WLSA Board Chairperson
2016 was generally a good year though we were not spared from the economic challenges affecting Zimbabwe and the rest of the world. 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 2016, we were part of the five organizations that signed an MOU to operate help desks at courts in Zimbabwe. We thank the JSC for the support. We managed to attend official court opening in Murambinda and Goromonzi. We are gratified in the knowledge that as WLSA, we will play a part in access to justice.
We bade farewell to the following trustees who faithfully and diligently served WLSA: - Dr Jabangwe; Dr Rukuni; and Lucy Makaza. We welcomed to the Board of Trustees Dr Admark Moyo; Ruth Wutete and Fadzai Mukonoweshuro.
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 2017 as we strive to ensure that women and girls equitably access justice.
Last but not least, WLSA fulfilled a long standing strategic aim by getting registered as a PVO in December 2016.
Mrs Kudakwashe Makwara