As Africa University opened doors to its School of Law early this week, 67-year-old Acting Chief Mutasa was among the first 20 students that have enrolled for the Bachelor of Law Degree.
He expects to complete the LLB programme when he turns 72.
Born Lovemore Mutasa, Chief Mutasa said: “I am looking forward to helping my fellow chiefs in getting a better understanding of the law processes in the country.
“I really want to urge traditional leaders across the country to take up Law. Age is nothing but a number.
“We can do it with determination and will power. It will help us in our line of work,” he said.
The traditional leader said his dream is to eventually open a law firm.
“My thinking is that at some point, I will be able to open my own law firm.
“That law firm will help many children to train and enhance their understanding of the law,” said the traditional leader.
Chief Mutasa has already undertaken training as a presiding officer of community courts with University of South Africa (UNISA), as well as the University of Zimbabwe Magistrates’ Admission examination.
The Bachelor of Law Degree at AU will not be the ceiling for the ambitious traditional leader.
“I want to attain a Masters’ Degree in Child Rights. I am very passionate about ending child marriages and this is one sure way of enhancing my understanding of the dynamics around child marriages,” he said.
Chief Mutasa has already written a book on child marriages entitled “A collection of articles on ending child marriages”.
Speaking during the official launch of the AU School of Law on Monday, AU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Reverend Peter Mageto said Chief Mutasa is part of the institution’s first cohort of law degree students, not by chance or as a favour, but on merit.
“He is one person who deserved to be part of this group. I can tell you that the selection of the first cohort of law degree students was rigorous and thorough.
“The 20 are blessed to have managed to get places and Chief Mutasa’s papers as well as his past academic achievements enabled him to secure a place,” said Prof Mageto.
In January 2018, Chief Murinye, born Ephias Munodawafa, was among the first traditional leaders to obtain a Bachelor of Law Degree with the University of Zimbabwe.
He went on to be registered with the Law Society of Zimbabwe as a legal practitioner.
The then 50-year old traditional leader took his oath before Justice Edith Mushore at the High Court and was attached at Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners.
In a move that seeks to enhance traditional leaders’ understanding of legal processes, the Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council and Great Zimbabwe University set up a steering committee to spearhead the compilation of a basic law syllabus for free legal studies for all the 272 traditional leaders in the country.
Chiefs preside over numerous cases in their areas of jurisdiction and therefore their understanding of legal processes is crucial. – Manica Post