BY BLESSED MHLANGA
MEMBERS of the Chemagora Small-Scale Commercial Farmers’ Union in Gokwe are baying for Chief Misheck Njelele’s blood a few days after the alleged murder of their member, George Jongwe, by illegal settlers who invaded his farm with the blessings of the traditional leader.
Speaking at a highly-charged meeting held in Chemagora on Sunday, the farmers blamed Chief Njelele over Jongwe’s death. They claimed Jongwe was hacked with small axes and machetes by illegal settlers who had invaded his farm.
Jongwe allegedly shot dead one of the illegal settlers during a stand-off with about 15 invaders before they ganged up and axed him to death.
The farmers threatened to dump Jongwe’s body at Njelele’s homestead, accusing him of corruptly allocating land on the Chemagora Estates.
“We know Jongwe was killed by illegal settlers who paid money to Chief Njelele so that they could get land illegally. It is him who brought this trouble and he should, therefore, be confronted,” Innocent Tshuma, one of the farmers, said.
More than 40 farmers, who bought farms in 1987 and hold title deeds, said they would take the body of the deceased to Chief Njelele’s homestead.
Union chairperson, Dumapi Tutami told Southern Eye that they would consult the Jongwe family over body-dumping intentions.
“We have resolved to take the chief head-on because he is the problem. We are also going to be holding demonstrations at his homestead until he sorts out the problem he created. We have evidence that has been placed before the Prosecutor-General over the chief’s corrupt tendencies, and we are not just out to fight him,” he said.
The deceased family’s spokesperson Perkins Jongwe said they were still in shock following the murder of their father, but were yet to make a decision on how to proceed with the matter.
“We are waiting for the body which was taken to Bulawayo for post-mortem today (Sunday). At the moment, we are helping police with information and investigations so that those who murdered our father can face justice,” he said.
Police arrested eight suspects in connection with the murder.
Chief Njelele, who had been invited to the farmers’ meeting, did not turn up, but denied he was invited.
“I am not aware of that meeting and I did not do such a thing like settling people on those farms, I was told by the courts that I have no jurisdiction over Chemagora Estates and, as such, I am not responsible for the illegal settlement,” he told Southern Eye.