Chiefs Fine Villagers Who Do not Attend Zanu (PF) Political Meetings

Chiefs Fine Villagers Who Do not Attend Zanu (PF) Political Meetings

HONDE VALLEY, (Zimbabwe)- VILLAGERS of Chief Mparutsa in Mutasa North are up in arms with their chief over fines they are made to pay for failing to attend Zanu PF political meeting she calls.

Chief Eunice Mparutsa is allegedly calling for political meetings in the area on behalf of the ruling Zanu PF officials and fines people who fail to attend the meetings.

A villager in the area Paul Mareyangepo of Ward 8 in Honde Valleys said the chief asked him to pay a goat as a fine for failing to attend one of the Zanu (PF) political meetings she had called for that was to be addressed by retired army Lieutenant Colonel, Mike Nyambuya.

“I did not attend another rally the chief had called where Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya addressed and was asked to pay a fine of a goat. I refused to pay the fine,” Mareyangepo said.

Chief Mparutsa allegedly threatened Mareyangepo that he would never benefit from cheap grain that is sourced from the Grain Marketing Board, (GMB) by the government.

“She said I was not going to access the grain since I had refused to pay the fine.”

Mareyangepo claimed that since he was a member of the opposition MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai it was of no use to attend ruling Zanu (PF) functions.”I cannot be forced to attend a meeting of party that I don’t support.”Constance Chikanya another resident of Honde Valley says she was forced to pay a fine of a chicken after failing to attend one of the meetings chief Mparutsa had called for.    “I was summoned to her court and was tried and found guilty of not attending the meeting and was fined a chicken. I have not paid the fine to date,” she said.      She said local headmen write names of people who do not attend the Zanu (PF) functions and hand them over to the chief who then fines the culprits.                  She said “offenders’ are also fined in cash varying amounts depending on the gravity of the “offence”.   Ward 8 councillor Aaron Kavhungira of the MDC grouping led by Tsvangirai confirmed opposition members were being victimized for not attending political meetings organized by Zanu (PF).                                He said most of them were being denied a chance to buy maize grain from the GMB sold at an affordable price of Z$1 750 000 (about R5) for a 50kg bag. On the parallel market the same cost over Z$7million (about R12).Kavhungira said he had approached the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, ZLHR for advise over the fines.”The lawyers have advised us not to pay the fines to the chief as what she is doing is illegal. We were told to wait until the chief writes to us a letter of demand and we take it up from there,” the councilor said.Chief Mparutsa was unavailable for a comment when CAJ News visited her homestead on Wednesday morning.

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