HARARE – A 72 year old woman in Mashonaland West’s Chegutu District accuses the local chief of robbing her of three cows which were confiscated as a fine for a crime allegedly committed by her 37-year-old son.
The woman, Ngoni Mutsvangwa nee Rukarwa told the Daily News yesterday that Chief Chiketa Kanengoni Mashayamombe of Mhondoro last week sent his emissaries to confiscate her cattle. This was supposed to be compensation for a beast her son Brian had allegedly sold to one Thanks Maqata but failed to deliver.
Mutsvangwa said she was confused as to why her livestock should be confiscated when her son had his own property.
“The chief’s men came here last week and forcibly took away my three beasts saying my son had committed a crime. They demanded my stock card which they used to clear the beasts without my consent.
“What surprises me is that my son is an adult who owns a car and a house at Mubaira Growth Point but they did not bother to confiscate that property and opted for mine. I suspect they realised he has no case so they are targeting me because of my age,” said Mutsvangwa.
“The chief is in the habit of demanding cattle for any offence and many people have so far lost their livestock to him.”
Chief Mashayamombe confirmed that he indeed confiscated the cows but defended his actions saying he had no option because Brian had not attended the court.
“We summoned Brian to attend court but he did not turn up and even the relatives didn’t come. What do you think we were supposed to do under those circumstances? We actually wanted eight cows from him but we were lenient and took only three from his mother,” he said.
Pressed to justify why he confiscated Mutsvangwa’s beasts when Brian was an adult who owned property of his own, Mashayamombe said he did not want to be disturbed as he was busy with other business.
“You are disturbing me. You must know that Chief Mashayamombe is a public figure and I am busy with other documents. Now the same people you are defending are suing me through their lawyer Mangwiro whose documents I am busy with,” said Mashayamombe before switching off his phone.
Contacted for comment, Brian said he was surprised when his mother called him to say her cows had been taken as compensation for a heifer he sold last month for $450 to Maqata, who paid only $330.
Rukarwa said he wanted Maqata to pay the balance of $120 before he could clear the beast.
“I was baffled to hear that Mashayamombe had confiscated my mother’s cattle over my issues with Maqata.
I just want him to pay up the balance before he collects his cow.
I don’t see where my mother comes in because I have my own cows at my farm in Mvurwi. Maqata knows it.
“I think they entered into a deal with the chief to rob people of their livestock. The police advised him to go to the civil court for redress but he has chosen to go to Mashayamombe.
“He (Mashayamombe) duped my mother to release her stock card during my absence and took away her livestock. I am an adult and any reasonable court should realise that my parents cannot be sued for a crime I committed, if ever there is any,” said Brian.
According to Mashayamombe’s court record in our possession, apart from the three beasts, Mutsvangwa is supposed to pay $5 plus two goats to the chief and his assessors. – Mugove Tafirenyika