Chief Nemangwe of Gokwe has been accused of the arbitrary abuse of power, passing unfavourable and questionable judgments.

It is alleged that in May this year, Chief Nemangwe ordered Noel Mutopa of Kasuwe village to pay two cattle and three goats for failing to attend a traditional court over incest charges.

Mutopa said he attended the court session, but the chief was not present. He said:

After some weeks, two men claiming to be the chief’s aides, Milton Mazhambe and Tarisai Murashiki, came to my homestead and took two cattle, three goats and also demanded US$40 as transport fee.

Upon questioning why they were taking my cattle, they told me I was being charged with contempt of court for failing to attend court hearing of the case in which I was being charged with incest.

I gave in to their demand because they were violent. The day I was invited to the chief’s court, I presented myself at the court, but it was the chief who did not attend.

A village elder told Southern Eye that it was wrong for the chief’s aides to grab people’s cattle without any paperwork.

Mutopa said he had tried to engage the chief over the issue without success.

Another villager, who preferred anonymity, said he lost three beasts after he was charged with contempt of court. Said the villager:

I never saw the summons inviting me to attend the court hearing. I was only surprised to see the chief’s aide with contempt of court papers stating that I had failed to attend the chief’s court hearing.

Several other villagers under Chief Nemangwe had similar tales to tell.