Zimbabwe’s Colonial Legal System – Wigs And Fair Trials And Juries


It is indeed more than a little absurd that Zimbabwe has just spent some £118,000 pounds on wigs for the judges in their legal system. This is indeed an overhang of the colonial era, that Empire which meant they inherited all sorts of bits and pieces previously unknown in Southern Africa:

Zimbabwe’s £118,000 outlay on judges’ wigs met with fury
Lawyers say economically stricken country’s purchase of horsehair wigs made in London evokes spirit of colonialism

Quite so. Economically makes sense too – if you’re going to insist your judges do wear wigs there’s not point in trying to maintain your own wig making industry off the back of only the occasional order for 64 of them.

However, there is that little bat’s squeak of possible worry about this complaint:

Beatrice Mtetwa, a senior lawyer in the capital, said Zimbabwe’s British colonial past remained embedded in its justice system.

Is it only the wigs being complained about? Or perhaps those other things associated with that colonial era legal system. You know, fair trials, juries, evidence – all things previously unknown in Southern Africa too. Even, things rather unknown under Mugabe?

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