A man from Chimanimani, Albert Mushonga, is seeking compensation for false accusations made against him.
He claims that his employer, Phillip Rupiya, falsely accused him of stealing a solar panel and is demanding five cattle as compensation to restore his reputation within the community.
During a recent appearance before Acting Chief Saurombe’s court, Mushonga expressed his belief that receiving five cattle from Rupiya would help clear his name and alleviate the humiliation and trauma he experienced due to the false accusation. Unfortunately for Mushonga, Rupiya failed to appear in court.
Mushonga alleged that Rupiya accused him based on the advice of a local prophet. According to Mushonga, he was fired by Rupiya when the solar panel went missing. Rupiya proceeded to spread rumours about Mushonga being the culprit, claiming that he had stolen and sold the solar panel since Mushonga was the only one aware of its location.
Mushonga attempted to reason with Rupiya, emphasizing his years of loyal service in looking after Rupiya’s cattle. However, his pleas fell on deaf ears, and Rupiya continued to treat him as a thief. As a result, Mushonga’s reputation suffered, and even though the true culprit was eventually apprehended and the stolen solar panel recovered, some people in the community still believe that Mushonga is a thief.
In his ruling, Acting Chief Saurombe acknowledged that Mushonga had endured wrongful accusations and public shaming. However, he deemed Mushonga’s demand for five cattle as excessive and unreasonable. The chief emphasized the impact such compensation would have on Rupiya’s livelihood, as he has a family to support and a farm to run. As a gesture of goodwill and an apology, the chief suggested that Rupiya should compensate Mushonga with only two cattle.
Acting Chief Saurombe asserted that the purpose of the court is to educate rather than punish individuals. He believed that two cattle would be a fair resolution to the matter, urging Mushonga to consider the circumstances and accept the offer as a means of redressing the harm caused to him.