Vine Chinake, appealed to the magistrates court after he was tried and convicted in absentia last year by Chief Negomo’s community court in Chiweshe after being accused of practicing witchcraft, in a matter that had been brought by fellow villagers Lucias Chibvongodze and Sam
The nature of the witchcraft accusations made against Chinake are not specified in court papers but the MDC-T ward chairperson said the chief erred in dealing with the matter which he had no jurisdiction over as the Witchcraft Suppression Act, criminalizes accusing someone of witchcraft.
He added that only the magistrates’ court has jurisdiction to deal with the case as it was a criminal matter.
“The judgment by the community court of Chief Negomo is hereby set aside. In its place it is ordered that the appellant be given back his property namely beasts and a goat,” reads part of the court order.
Last Tuesday, Chinake’s lawyer Shepherd Mushonga said chief Negomo has not yet complied with the Bindura Magistrates Court’s order to return the beats and goat he had attached as part of his judgment.
“I can confirm that the order was granted, but he has not complied. Chief Negomo promised Chinake that he would pay back,”said Mushonga.
On the other hand, when contacted for comment the chief said he remembers presiding over a case involving Chinake, but could not recollect all the details as he deals with many cases in his court.
“I record all the cases on my laptop. Give me some time to look at the matter,” chief Negomo said.
Recently, chief Negomo fined in absentia Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai two cows and a sheep for violating a cultural taboo by paying bride price for Locardia Karimatsengu in a forbidden month of November.
The MDC-T has dismissed the hearing as politically motivated.
“That the chief sought to act as his own messenger is clear manifestation of failure on his part to appreciate the difference between his role as a traditional leader from his role as a Zanu-PF
“Chief Negomo must be aware of the murders and rapes and other barbaric acts committed by Zanu PF in 2008 in his jurisdiction. He is no doubt aware of acts of arson committed by Zanu-PF activists against MDC-T people. Why has he not summoned any of them to his court if he is a man of justice?” the MDC-T asked.