• Lawyer secured to lead villagers' cases in the courts
MASVINGO RURAL – It never rains but pours for Chief Musara (Bonface Musara), after tens of people gathered at Mazare Business Centre 28km from Masvingo along Masvingo- Mutare Road last week to demonstrate against his style of leadership where he is allegedly impounding cattle from impoverished villagers for various minor offences.
Councillor Stephen Munyenyiwa of Ward 32 told the demonstrators that there are 22 cases that have so far been reported to the Police against Musara and invited all those whose cattle were impounded to do so by January 30 2017.
When contacted for comment, Musara accused the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Davison Marapira of fomenting trouble against him for political reasons. He also said that there were people who were against his chieftainship.
Marapira dismissed the allegations and said the party did no support people who are further impoverishing villagers by taking away their cattle, goats and chicken.
"All those who had their cattle confiscated by the Chief should report to the Police by Monday (January 30) so that the cases can be reinvestigated," said Manyenyiwa.
He said that a lawyer has been secured to represent the villagers in court.
Munyenyiwa read out names of the 22 villagers who previously reported their cases to the Police in the past but were turned down for various reasons.
Munyenyiwa said the MP spoke to the Police Chief in Masvingo, Martha Mofolo and impressed upon her the need to have the cases investigated in a fair and transparent manner.
Those who had not reported cases were urged to see Sergeant Mutyavaviri at Nemamwa.
The demonstration was stopped at the last minute after the intervention of Marapira who appealed to the villagers to give chance to due process.
"I understand your anger but just allow the Police to carry out investigations for the second time since they agreed to do so this time unlike before when they refused to entertain your concerns," said Marapira amid disapproval from angry villagers who had geared themselves for the showdown.
"This is all the work of my enemies who are defying my leadership, they simply want me dethroned forgetting that I was legally installed according to Statutory Instrument 62 of 2013," said Chief Musara.
Ward 8 villager Chanduru Mazuva born in 1939 was fined a goat and $35 for not recognising the Musara's chieftainship.
"I was fined for saying Musrara does not deserve to be Chief last year in November," said Mazuva who had come for the planned demonstration.
In 2007 John Kwangwari (66) was fined a beast for burying his sister's son Stephen Chamakani at his homestead.
"I will approach the Police with others to have my case reviewed because I feel I was treated unfairly because Stephen was like my son as he grew up in the village although he was my nephew," said Kwangwari.
The director of traditional leadership in the Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, Felix Chikovo said whatever judgement is handed down by a traditional leader has to be approved by the Provincial Magistrate.
"All issues to do with community courts fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. If anyone is aggrieved by a traditional leader's judgement they are free to appeal through the normal channel," said Chikovo.