HOME AFFAIRS Minister Obert Mpofu (pictured) and nine other Zanu PF officials have been ordered to stop threatening three Matabeleland traditional chiefs who had approached the courts seeking a peace order against the politicians.
BY SILAS NKALA
Chief Nhlanhlayemangwe Felix Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna supported by Chiefs Neville Ndondo and Deli Asher Mabhena had filed an application for a peace order at the Bulawayo Magistrates Court.
They were citing Mpofu as the first respondent, Zanu PF Matabeleland North chairman Richard Moyo, Moses Siphuma, Jonathan Sibanda Nkanyezi, Remigious Kombani, Beverly Sibanda Mthombeni, Sharon Ncube, David Moyo, Paul Masina and Kholwani Mbambo as respondents.
Chief Ndiweni accused Mpofu and his colleagues of being abusive and issuing ominous threats and occasionally hurling insults at the traditional leaders.
Bulawayo magistrate, Adeline Mbeure yesterday granted the application and ordered Mpofu and accomplices to stop threatening the traditional chiefs.
“It is hereby ordered that the respondents should cease threatening the applicants in any way and not communicate in any way that is threatening, abusive and vulgar. Respondents should hold their peace towards the applicants. Each party to bear its own costs,” Mbeure ruled.
In an affidavit, the traditional leaders through their lawyer, Dumisani Dube of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers submitted that they are from the Bubi-Umguza constituency, where Mpofu is seeking a senatorial seat on a Zanu PF ticket.
The traditional leaders said they were living in fear of Mpofu and his Zanu PF accomplices.
They alleged Mpofu had made life unbearable for them, accusing him of making it impossible for them to smoothly carry out their duties.
“The first respondent who is also a Member of Parliament and Home Affairs minister has abused his office and authority by constantly throwing spanners into the chiefs’ work using his agents and thugs,” the chiefs said.
“He has verbally attacked the applicants in various political and social foras at York House in Bulawayo and in Umguza District.
Sometime back, he sent thugs and hoodlums to harass and torment the applicants and villagers who refused to dabble in his succession issues.”
The chiefs also stated that Mpofu had threatened them with death.
“Further, through his direct control of 17 out of 18 wards, he further intimidated and harassed the applicants through derogatory insults, threats of violence, abduction, and extermination, as he is a feared and very powerful politician,” they submitted.
“Attempts to report him to the police have yielded nothing, as the police officers are afraid of politics.”
They then prayed for an order compelling Mpofu to stop the harassment and also to allow the borehole sinking project to proceed well in the area.
In a related matter, the three chiefs recently sought a High Court interdict to bar Mpofu from interfering in the running of the Umguza Community Share Ownership Scheme. Their application was recently dismissed on grounds that Chief Ndiweni cited in the affidavit as representing the scheme has no locus standi to represent the project.
The chiefs had alleged Mpofu had pillaged money from the scheme, which was given a lifeline courtesy of a $1,5 million injection by PPC Cement.
“Moreover, the first applicant (Umguza Community Share Ownership Scheme) which was founded by a donation of US$1,5 million from PPC Cement, has also been caught up in this incestuous web of corruption, maladministration, and financial pillage before the appointment of the three chiefs, that is myself and other respondents,” Chief Ndiweni had submitted.
“…The development to professionally administer the Trust was met with massive resistance by the first and second respondents (Mpofu and Moyo).
“This meant that they can no longer illegally obtain trucks and vehicles belonging to the applicants for political events without paying for them and abuse of funds for the first applicant (the scheme) through unscrupulous means for political expediency,” reads the affidavit filed by the chiefs at the Bulawayo High Court.
The application sought to push the court into ordering Mpofu to return the $600 000 property he allegedly grabbed