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‘Gun-toting’ chief sanctioned

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Chief Svosve, born Weston Zvenyika Kuwandikira, has been accused of firing gunshots in an apparent attempt to scare away a villager, Noel Nhire, following a dispute over a piece of land at Ashlyns Farm in Wedza.

In an urgent chamber application at the High Court, Nhire accused the traditional leader of always firing gunshots to scare him away and sending youths to disrupt his farming operations. The case was heard last Thursday before Justice Felistus Chatukuta under case number HC3360/12.

“The respondent is always sending youths to unlawfully evict me from my lawfully resettled piece of land,” Nhire told the court. “He is always firing gunshots to scare away the applicant (Nhire) such that the applicant is now in danger.”

Nhire also accused Chief Svosve of holding political rallies denouncing the former and influencing villagers to revolt against him.

However, it was not clear from the court papers which political parties Chief Svosve and Nhire were affiliated to. Nhire indicated he feared for his life as chief Svosve had become “a law unto himself”.

“Despite having made an application before this court, the respondent has now become a law unto himself,” he said in the affidavit.

“He has deployed some youths to interfere with my farming activities, disruption of labour, disconnection of electricity to my farm and letting his head of cattle graze on my crops.”

But Chief Svosve denied firing gunshots and sending youths to disrupt Nhire’s operations.

“Applicant is a politician and in total control of the youths. He is the one with authority to deploy youths under his command,” Chief Svosve said in his opposing affidavit.

“I am a chief and not a politician and do not own a gun and if ever applicant’s allegation is true he should have filed a police report at Wedza Police Station.”

After hearing the submissions from both parties, Justice Chatukuta interdicted Chief Svosve from interfering with Nhire’s farming operations.

“It is ordered that the respondent or any person acting on his authority be and is hereby interdicted from interfering with the applicant’s occupation or with operation on plot number 1 Ashlyn Farm,” Justice Chatukuta ruled.

Nhire said despite the existence of a pending case against the chief under case number HC 11447/11, Chief Svosve had continued tormenting him, prompting the urgent application.

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