A traditional leader has fined two Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists for defying a local headman‘s directive to vote for Zanu PF.
Brothers Knowledge and Solomon Tambwera were last Saturday dragged before Chief Muusha’s traditional court on charges of defying Charles Manzou’s directive to vote for the ruling party’s candidates in the August 23 to 24 harmonised elections.
Solomon said Manzou on August 20 called a meeting in the Mutsangani area where he lashed out against the CCC.
“At the meeting, the headman said he had been sent by Chief Muusha to order every villager in the ward to vote for Zanu PF,” Solomon said.
Solomon said he and his brother were forced to sleep in the bush for almost three days after receiving information that Zanu PF activists were baying for their blood for defying the directive.
“On August 26, we received a letter from Chief Muusha ordering us to appear before his court to answer charges emanating from our protest at the meeting,” he said.
“When we attended the court, the chief claimed that we insulted him by refusing to heed headman Manzou’s order to vote for Zanu PF.
“After failing to prove the allegations, the chief with the concurrence of the headman fined us three goats for essentially exercising our democratic rights.
“We were given until the end of September to pay the fine.”
Solomon said he had reported the case to the police.
“I am appealing to human rights lawyers to assist us to fight this injustice,” he added.
Headman Manzou admitted holding a meeting on the eve of the harmonised elections with villagers, but refuted allegations he ordered people to vote for Zanu PF.
“I was sent by the chief to remind his people to vote,” he said.
“The chief told me that the directive came from (his seniors) above.
“At the meeting two young men challenged me and argued that what I was saying to them was not in order as it amounted to forcing people to vote against their will.
“I informed the chief about this and he in turn summoned the two young men to his court.
“He) felt insulted by the two’s actions of openly challenging his directive and fined them three goats.”
Chief Muusha confirmed that he fined the two brothers for “insulting” him, but could not say how they insulted him.
“It was not even clear what was said at the meeting but the headman told me that the two brothers told him that what he was telling them did not make sense and dismissed him,” Muusha said.
“They disrespected me by dismissing my headman.”
In June, the chief was reported to have also threatened his subjects with unspecified action if they voted for CCC during a meeting held at Muusha Primary School.
— The Standard