By Cephas Shava
MWENEZI – Village heads that are under Chief Neshuro (real name Rodwell Gudo) are complaining that the traditional leader is charging foreign currency for services that are often rendered free of charge.
Last weekend, each village head in Rutenga West had to pay R50 to receive a 10kg bag of rice which village heads receive under an annual government programme.
Some of the village heads told TellZim News that they felt Chief Neshuro was conning them, saying he was making them pay for services that must not be paid for.
When contacted for comment, Chief Neshuro denied the allegations, arguing that there was a named senior politician fighting him and trying by all means possible to soil his name.
“It’s true that rice was distributed to village heads under the Zunde raMambo programme but the truth of the matter is that no one was charged in forex. There are politicians here who are trying to tarnish my image because we have got some unresolved land issues,” claimed Chief Neshuro.
However one of Chief Neshuro’s headmen, Tanaka Zano whose area covers Rutenga West confirmed that village heads were indeed being made to pay forex for services.
“It’s true that we convened a meeting that was presided over by the chief himself. Our village heads were given rice and they were asked to pay R50 transport cost but those who did not have money were also given the option to pay in the local currency,” said Zano.
Text messages had been sent to the village heads informing them that they were required to pay the R50 when they come to collect their share of the grain.
“Sabhuku uyai neR50 nesaga empty paMutove neSvondo magwanani muzopiwa rice naMambo musanonoka kana kutadza. (village head bring R50 and an empty sack at Mutove on Sunday morning so that you receive your share of rice from the Chief. Make sure you come early and you comply accordingly),” read one of the messages sent to one village head.
Other village heads also complained that the chief was demanding that they raise foreign currency from their subjects on his behalf.
“Earlier this year, we were each forced to raise R200 for his car tyres. Although we managed to raise the money from the villagers the chief did not come back with the said car tyres, rising suspicious that he could have used the money for something else.
“He is exploiting us for his lavish lifestyle and we are now helping him to raise his maintenance arrears,” fumed one village head who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Chief Neshuro has on several occasions been in the media all for wrong reasons. He was convicted twice at the Mwenezi Magistrate Court after he failed to pay maintenance arrears to his ex-wife.