HomeNewsMasvingo North villagers protest against chief Musara

Masvingo North villagers protest against chief Musara

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HORDES of villagers from Masvingo North resettlement area last Friday took to the streets of Masvingo protesting over their local chief Bornface Musara whom they accused of being heavy handed and imposing “outrageous penalties”.


Tatenda Chitagu
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Last Wednesday, the villagers held a similar demonstration in their rural area.

The villagers marched through the streets, to the police provincial headquarters before they petitioned District Administrator, James Mazvidza asking him to call Chief Boniface Musara to order after he fined a local villager, Abmereki Murwisi, two beasts for failing to observe the traditional sacred resting day.

Traditional resting day known as chisi in Shona), is set aside by traditional leaders as a sacred day during which villagers were not allowed to work on their fields midweek.

Villagers in the area were observing two traditional sacred resting days, on Wednesdays and Thursdays following a boundary dispute between Chief Musara and Chief Kabiwa Chikwanda, who observed the custom on different days.

Chief Chikwanda observes the rest on a Wednesday, while Chief Musara observes it on a Thursday.

As such, the villagers, who survive on subsistence farming, were forced not to tend their fields for three days, including Sundays, and they feel this could threaten their food security.

Speaking on the sidelines of the demonstrations, Ward 32 councillor Stephen Munyenyiwa said they had to seek government intervention to resolve the boundary dispute and stop Musara from ‘ripping off villagers’ with such fines.

“We are at the receiving end of the boundary dispute that is why you see people being fined cattle because they cannot afford not to work in their fields for three days.

“While we respect our traditional leaders, we believe some of the penalties are too harsh. If one is fined two cattle, they will be left with no draught power,” he said.

Munyenyiwa said they have since put their concerns in writing to Mazvidza.

Mazvidza, Chief Musara and Chikwanda could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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