Chief Chirumanzi faces stock theft charges

​ MIRROR REPORTER MVUMA – Farmers in Central Estates are streaming to the Police to report stock theft charges against Chief Chirumanzi who ...


– Farmers in Central Estates are streaming to the Police to report stock theft charges against Chief Chirumanzi who has allegedly been impounding cattle and goats from farmers he accuses of working on Chisi (Shona traditional sacred day). It is estimated that Chief Chirumanzi collected more than 80 cattle and 80 goats from farmers in the last few years for working on Chisi.
The farmers said they do not beleive in praying the dead since they are christians and they have, however, vowed to contest the matter of Chisi at the Constitutional Court. They claim that Chisi is a religious belief being imposed on them by Gerald Mudzengi who is Chief Chirumanzi and this goes against the Constitution of Zimbabwe which allows for freedom of worship. The farmers have also approached their lawyers at the Legal Resources Foundation who have since written to Chief Chirumunzi and the District Administrator Michael Mariga.
The District Administrator forwarded the letter to the Provincial Administrator Cecilia Chitiyo who in turn send the letter to the Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage head office in Harare for advice. The Ministry's legal adviser, a Mr F.M in turn told the Provincial Administrator that the chief's actions were illegal and urgent action must be taken to ensure that the Chief returns the cattle. Mabhena said in a letter dated March 4, 2016 that the Ministry and the chief would lose the case if the farmers go to court based on two reasons; that the chief has no jurisdiction over the area and chisi violated the people's right to freedom of worship.
The farmers who are led by war veteran Christopher Magwaza who is also a former secondary school teacher have opened a stock theft case against Chief Chirumanzi at Mvuma Police Station under RRB reference 2666676 CR4/03/16. In this particular docket, five farmers Nhamo Mushanduri, Giftha Pasipamire, Augustine Chirume, Violet Bare and Ellen Tadiwa reported that they lost a beast and a goat each to Chief Chirumanzi.
Chief Chirumanzi's messengers who are accused of impounding the animals are Onisimo Mundure, Anthony Muzeza and E Matonda.
Efforts to get comment from the Police were fruitless as the contact phone went unanswered up to the time of going to press. Apart from the issue of Chisi, the farmers are insisting that the legal process used to impound their cattle was flawed. The complaints were never given a chance to appear before the chief's court to answer to the charges laid against them.
They also argued that the summons used to attach and execute were defective and they were trying to establish how Magistrate Musaiwona Shortgame of Gweru signed the papers. Magwaza told The Mirror that the chief has been allowed to do this for many years because Police has been hesitant to arrest him due  to alleged political reasons. He said reports were made to Police for the last 10 years without any action being taken.
"Chief Chirumanzi has been allowed to do this for the last 10 years because he is politically connected. The Police is afraid to charge him even after the Ministry has said his actions are illegal," said Magwaza.
He said Chief Chirumanzi was very close to the local MP and this might be the source of his protection.
Chief Chirumanzi initially said he was not aware of the allegations but later said the matter was not for the press. local news



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The Mirror: Chief Chirumanzi faces stock theft charges
Chief Chirumanzi faces stock theft charges
The Mirror
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