Chief Makope of Mazowe district in Mashonaland Central is facing arrest after he allegedly abused his office and stole 40 cattle from a Mvurwi farmer.
Born Godwin Zambara, the 63-year-old chief is in soup together with his messenger Ranganai Muzavazi after he reportedly took the cattle from a farmer Christopher Chisango.
According to Police record, Sometime in March 2022, Christopher Chesango’s cattle grazed some maize crops of eleven neighbouring villagers.
The eleven villagers reported their matter to Godwin Zambara (Chief Makope’s) court for re-dress. They did not make a police report.
Chief Makope summoned Christopher Chesango to his court.
On 23rd March 2022 Chief Makope found Christopher Chesango guilty and passed a judgement that Christopher Chesango pay compensation to the eleven Plaintiff’s to the tune of USD$ 11 500-00.
Christopher Chesango asked for his LC4 form (Judgement Form) from the Chief but was not given. Christopher Chesango then sought assistance from his Lawyer Tongai Mutindi of Mutindi and Bumhira Law Firm. The lawyer tried to obtain the judgement and was only given it in September 2022,” reads the record.
“The lawyer tried to file an appeal at Concession Magistrates Court but the judgement was written in Shona language and was advised to return the judgement to the Chief so that he writes in English.
The Chief failed to do so until the Lawyer sought the services of Chief Interpreter at the High Court in January 2023.
On 25 January 2023, the complainant got an Interim Relief granted by the Resident Magistrate at Concession Margistrates Court that execution of judgement of Chief Makope be stayed pending the return day.
An order of the court was eventually granted by Resident Magistrate at Concession Margistrates Court on 17 February 2023 setting aside Chief Makope’s judgement.
Interestingly, Chief Makope had sent Ranganai Muzavazi ( second accused) his messenger to Ruoka farm on 19 January 2023 and attached a herd of forty (40) cattle which he is alleged to have disposed off despite being told by the complainant’s Lawyer to stop the execution.
The Lawyer was communicating with the accused trying to recover the cattle but to no joy.
On 09 March 2023, the complainant made a police report at ZRP Mvurwi.
A case of “Criminal Abuse of Office” as defined in Section 174 (1)(a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9.23 alternatively charged for “Stock Theft” as defined in Section 114 of the Code was opened.
Initial documentation was done and referred to Guruve DHQ for directives as the accused is a Chief and possibly referral to CID for further management.”
The matter was reported at ZRP Mvurwi under RRB 5323313.