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Acting chief in bribery storm

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BY KENNETH NYANGANI

ACTING Chief Saunyama — Victor Saunyama — of Nyanga has been accused of demanding bribes from his subjects so that they get favourable verdicts at his traditional court.

This came to light in the High Court in an application by Nyanga farmer Lovemore Madongonda seeking a compelling order for the appointment of a substantive chief in line with what was agreed after the death of the area’s substantive chief nine years ago.

Madongonda cited Saunyama, Nyanga district development co-ordinator Nyashadzashe Zindove, Local Government minister July Moyo and President Emmerson Mnangagwa as first, second, third and fourth respondents, respectively.

“I have real and substantive interest in this matter since I reside within Chief Saunyama’s sphere of influence in Nyanga,” he said in the court application.

“Additionally, I was nominated by the late Chief Saunyama to be headman under his jurisdiction in 2010. Although I was nominated to be the headman by the late Chief Saunyama, I was not eventually appointed in terms of the law since Chief Saunyama later died without the proper procedures for my appointment having been followed,” he said.

“Be that as it may, I still have real and substantive interest in the matter since I am a well-known resident of Muwi village, which falls under the jurisdiction of Chief Saunyama. The appointment of Victor Saunyama was on a temporary basis awaiting the appointment of a substantive Chief Saunyama.”

Madongonda accused the acting chief of failing to preside over traditional ceremonies and demanding bribes, adding that it was “unreasonable” that Saunyama had been acting chief for nine years.

He said he wanted Zindove and Moyo to call a meeting of the elders of the Saunyama clan to investigate and deliberate on the customary principles of succession within 30 working
days.

He said the resolutions of the meeting should be recorded and forwarded to Moyo and form the basis for a recommendation to Mnangagwa for the appointment of a substantive chief .

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