– Residents of Mukadziwasha village near Mpandawana town are asking for the immediate removal of Mukadziwasha village head, Willy Mukadziwasha, alleging that his aides demand sexual favours in exchange for drought relief aid and imposing unreasonable fines on offenders.
Masvingo Provincial Coordinator in the social welfare ministry, Ngoni Jakaza promised to look into the case and said that the ministry encounters such acts daily and urged people to report such cases.
“We are receiving several reports of these village heads doing the Vharazipi style and we are encouraging every citizen to report such acts, we do not tolerate such behaviour because there is drought. Everyone should work with the ministry.
“People should report these acts to the DA, councilors or district Social Welfare offices. People should speak out against abuse and victimisation,” said Jakaza.
A group of disgruntled villagers from the area have already written to the Gutu District Administrator (DA) Roy Hove’s office and Chief Gutu’s court to seek for the village head’s removal.
The group accuses Mukadziwasha of corruption in the allocation of land, threatening banishment to those who disagree with him among a host of other abuses.
Tendai Makuvaza (Mai Mukadziwasha), wife to the village head’s cousin brother, is part of the group that is aggrieved with Willy’s actions.
Her husband used to be the village head until last year when Headman Gadzingo removed him from his position and replaced him with Willy.
She alleges that Willy was unprocedurally declared village head due to his corrupt relationship with Chief Gadzingo.
“Hwiri then nominated his nephew, Knowledge Mharadze, as his representative. Now it is like Sodom and Gommorah,” said Makuvaza.
Zorodzai Dzingirai, who won a reprieve from Chief Gutu’s court in January after she was fined US$200 by Willy on accusations of improperly disposing of her piece of land, says the Chief’s aides have ordered her to leave the area threatening to burn down her home.
“When food comes, be it from Christian Care, government relief aid through social welfare and even food for work, Mharadze demands sexual favours from younger women or else they get excluded from the list of beneficiaries.
“For older women, he demands a portion of the grain and a dollar on top,” said Dzingirai.
When asked for comment, Chief Gutu’s representative, Kennias Masanganise said he received the complaints last year.
He said they had reversed the irregular appointment of Willy but the DA and Headman Gadzingo went on to reappoint him.
“We do not know if it is nepotism or just confusion because a village is supposed to stay within the area but Willy is staying in Mpandawana village instead of Mukadziwasha. We have summoned him with letter of arrest for fraud after he sold pieces of land to different people but he just does not show up. Now the villagers have written a petition to the DA’s office and we hope something will be done,” said Masanganise.
Attempts to get a comment from Willy proved fruitless by the time of going to press.