Chief Swindles villagers Beasts

By Tatenda Mujeyi 
MAZOWE – Chief Makope of Mazowe district was left embarrassed after his efforts of trieng to swindle five villagers from Nyandirwi farm, Mvurwi after ordering them to pay a hefty combined fine of 40 beasts to the Chief for cutting down trees in his area.
Dave Juna, Kudakwashe Chipura, Dunmore Masangoapera, William Nyoka and Asmaras Makuva did not honour the chief’s sentence and were dragged to Guruve magistrates courts facing a contempt of court charge.
 The chief’s sentence was however dismissed after the court evaluated the case.
The suspects’ lawyer Alice N Mujakachi of B Chipadza law Chambers told this publication that her clients were not given to argue their case at the chief’s court.
My clients were exonerated by the magistrate court because the charge was purely defective, the allegations emanated from a ruling that was granted by Chief Makope were he ordered each accused to pay a hefty fine and eight beasts for cutting down trees on their plots citing that it was a scared place,” the lawyer said.
“The accused were not given a chance to argue their case at the chief’s court. They were later surprised to note the chief’s messenger approaching them to execute the order granted by the chief.
Allegations are that on 8 August the five were seen by chief’s advisors cutting down trees and were summoned to his traditional court were they were charged and sentenced.
While tree cutting is detrimental to the environment it is the prime source of livelihood, with measures expected to mitigate environmental degradation and meeting sustainable development remaining imminent.

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