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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Widows under Zambian customary law and the response of the courts
Author:Ndulo, MunaISNI
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:customary law
family law
Abstract:This article considers the predicament of widows under customary law in modern Zambia. In traditional society, women were not allowed to inherit from the estate of their deceased husbands. In modern society this rule can but work injustice and cause hardships. This is more so when the rule relating to inheritance is derived from the fact that African marriage treated a woman as inferior to the husband in the marriage relationship. This paper examines the traditional rule, the reasons for the rule, and shows that the premise on which the rule was founded no longer exists. It is contended that its survival is in part due to the failure of the courts to look at the rule analytically and critically. In so far as the inability of the courts to examine rules coming before them critically and analytically is concerned, it is contended that this is pervasive in the work of the courts in Zambia and is one of the major problems standing in the way of the development of a Zambian jurisprudence in many areas of the law. This also means that many of the gross inadequacies of the law will continue unless rectified by legislation. - Notes.