The Zimbabwe Independent reports the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has placed orders for 64 wigs made of horsehair from the exclusive and expensive Stanley Ley Legal Outfitters in England.
The price of wigs at the shop ranges between £1 329,17 (US$1 744,24) and £2 495,83 (US$3 274,51) each. The JSC ordered 64 wigs at £1 850 (US$2 426,99) each costing a total of £118 400 (US$155 286,80). Officials at the Justice Ministry said some of the wigs were delivered to the JSC this week.
The purchase of the wigs comes at a time when they have been abandoned in several Commonwealth countries like South Africa and Kenya, while their role has decreased in Britain, where the practise was adopted. Judges in Britain wear wigs only when hearing criminal matters as part of dress code reforms in 2008, ending a centuries-old tradition. Zimbabwean judges wear gowns and wigs while in court. The gowns are made locally at Zimbabwean Prison Services, but the wigs are purchased from the exclusive shop.