Machaya still to pay murder compensation balance

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GOKWE Midlands governor and Zanu PF provincial chairman Jason Machaya, whose son Farai is in jail for the murder of Moses Chokuda, has reportedly not made good his promise to pay the outstanding five head of cattle a compensation pledge he made to the Chokuda family.

Tavengwa Chokuda, the slain MDC-T activists father who spoke to NewsDay at the weekend accused Machaya of misleading his family into agreeing to the burial of his son on October 22 last year, on the understanding the Zanu PF official would pay the five outstanding beasts.

Moses was murdered in cold blood by the governors son, Farai and four other Zanu PF activists on March 22 2009 and was kept at the Gokwe mortuary for almost three years as his family refused to bury him until they were compensated.

However, through a deal brokered by Chief Misheck Njelele, the Chokudas finally agreed to bury Moses on October 22 after receiving 20 head of cattle and $12 000 in cash with a promise from the governor to get another additional five cattle and a commercial building.

At his graveside speech last year, Machaya also promised to look after Moses three-year-old son and his widow.

They are now playing hide and seek with us, said an angry Tavengwa. They have not yet paid us the outstanding balance and attempts to get them to pay up are hitting a brickwall. It seems like they are refusing to pay now that we buried our son.

Efforts to get Machaya to comment on the allegations were fruitless up to the time of going to print yesterday.

The NewsDay crew also observed during a recent visit to the Chokuda home the 20 head of cattle paid by Machaya were being penned separately from the familys other cattle.

They have to be kept separately because they have a different meaning and purposes to this family. We therefore cannot keep them in the same pen, said Tavengwa.

The family bought a hammer mill using the cash paid in compensation.