BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THREE houses have reportedly been burnt in Zaka, under Chief Ndanga in Masvingo, as the fight for the control of the area between the villagers and the traditional leader intensified last week.
This comes after Chief Ndanga, born Wilson Makono, was accused by Zaka villagers of allegedly using machete and catapult-wielding gangsters to terrorise people in the area.
Chief Ndanga was also recently accused of grabbing land and forcing villagers under other chiefs to join his dominion in order to meet the threshold of 45 households, a prerequisite for traditional leader’s jurisdiction.
Munyuki Village headman Tom Mututuriki told NewsDay that so far, three houses had been burnt, but the culprits were unknown.
“So far, we have heard that three houses were burnt in the village. Two of the houses are from Munyuki village and one of the houses is at the boundary of Ndanga’s area and Munyuki Village,” headman Mututuriki said.
“The houses were reportedly burnt around 11pm, and one of the houses that was razed down belongs to a child-headed family while others are headed by adults,” he said.
A villager, Hope Chikerema, challenged the traditional leader to urgently hold a meeting with village heads and their respective subjects in order to solve the problem.
“They should meet and preach the gospel of peace. I don’t fear to blame the chief for all these acts of violence by villagers against each other because he is the one pursuing Munyuki villagers’ land in support of his family members and Chaka Shati,” Chikerema said.
“Three homes have already been burnt. People are losing their valuables while all is well on your side. What if someone is inside the house? What will happen?”
Chief Ndanga said he had received reports of the houses that were burnt, but he absolved himself of blame.
“I have received the reports that three houses were burnt and these are the headman’s people who are now fighting among themselves as they lost the court case. These are the people who are loyal to the headman. We say no to violence, people must not destroy each other’s property. Violence is not the solution and this is very barbaric behaviour,” he said.
Chief Ndanga is said to only have 25 households under his jurisdiction, way below the recommended 45 households threshold.
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