Reimagining Community Peace-Making and Comprehending the Role of Venda women in Conflict Resolution in Malala Communal area, Beit bridge District Zimbabwe


The study explored the role of venda women in resolving conflicts in Malala in Beitbridge district. Lederach’s peace building approach guided the study. Basing on ubuntu philosophy in the understanding of ontological and epistemological issues surrounding the reality of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms by venda women, the study was qualitative in which a case study design was used. Unobtrusive observation in the Malala community, followed by focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were carried out from a sample of [N=26] participants with the use of thematic guiding notes. Findings indicated the roles of venda women (makhadzi) that involved arbitration, negotiation, conciliation, mediation and reconciliation were effectively employed and found to be powerful in facilitating compensation, reparation and forgiveness between parties in conflict. The research established that most rural communities are battle grounds of conflicts and people rely heavily on venda women (makhadzi) as they were noted to be more effective in conflict transformation. The study discovered that such reliance is due to the extensive application of indigenous customary law based on ubuntu, and methods of conflict transformation and reconciliation in the adjudication of conflicts during the family and community disputes. In order to yield maximum fruits in conflict transformation, the makhadzi should acquire relevant training, especially in statutes governing their institutions in order to rejuvenate their dexterity that was established to be incapacitating venda women


Venda, Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Transformation, culture