Ag­grieved sub­ject drags chief to court

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National/gender/health News - Michael Magoronga Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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