Aggrieved subject drags chief to court
A CHIEF in Zhombe has been dragged to court after he allegedly took a beast from one of his subjects without his consent, before slaughtering it and calling for a village braai after he had found the man guilty of working in the fields on a “sacred” day.
Chief Weight Gwesela was supposed to appear before Kwekwe magistrate Ms Vimbai Mutukwa last week but did not attend court resulting in the matter being postponed to a later date.
However, the court heard that Mr Samson Mabukwa from Zhombe, who is an African Apostolic Church member, felt abused by the traditional leader whom he claimed was making his religious life unbearable by forcing him to observe Thursdays as sacred instead of Saturdays, a day which his church recognises.
Allegations against Chief Gwesela are that he fined Mr Mabukwa a beast after he found him working in his field on a Thursday, a day that is sacred according to the African Traditional Religion. Mr Mabukwa, the court heard, did not willingly pay the beast, resulting in the chief sending his messengers to his homestead to drive one beast. Mr Mabukwa reported the matter to the police. “I was ordered to pay an ox, three chief ’s messengers appeared at my homestead with a rope which they used to tie my ox and took it away,” Mr Mabukwa told the court. “A day later, I heard some of my church members saying that we have been invited at Chief Gwesela’s homestead for a braai as he intended to slaughter my ox.” Mr Artwell Chinamatira from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who represented Mr Mabukwa appealed for the matter to be referred to the Constitutional Court. “When the man was convicted the chief was both the plaintiff and the presiding officer which goes against the basic principle of natural justice,” said Mr Chinamatira. Mr Vincent Chimwenje prosecuted.