Local court condemned

HARARE - Villagers in Zhombeni area in Chimanimani district have condemned the local chief's court circuit headed by Chief Saurombe for charging harsh fines for minor cases and allegedly presiding over cases while drunk.

A number of villagers who requested anonymity for fear of victimization said whenever the court’s assessors came to preside over cases at the traditional court, they first visited a local popular homestead to drink. The chief’s court is normally conducted on Sundays.

“Most of the judgments and decisions made at Chief Saurombe’s court are

questionable and unfair. If one is reported to the chief for whatever offence first of all he or she has to part with US$20 before the case is heard. Given the poverty currently prevailing in the rural areas it is very difficult to raise such an amount,” said a villager who was recently “convicted” at the courts.

Mazwi Rusinga, one of the villagers complaining about the courts is contemplating suing the chief to recover more than $US100 he says he wasted while the chief’s kangaroo court handled his case.

“Government must surely start investigating some of these village courts manned by chiefs and headmen. The government can no longer afford to leave us at the mercy of handpicked men,” said Rusinga.

Post published in: Politics

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