A MAKONI man who grabbed his son-in-law’s grinding mill, eight beasts, bricks and other property before he could bury his daughter has been ordered by a traditional court to return the loot.
Christopher Shayamano was last week dragged to Chief Makoni’s court by his son-in-law, Fungai Shumbaimwe, who is accusing him of taking advantage of his wife’s death to grab everything he owns.
Shayamano also took Shumbaimwe’s four children.
Shumbaimwe told the court that his wife committed suicide by throwing herself in a dam after he had confronted her over infidelity allegations.
“I was informed by fellow villagers that my wife was cheating on me. We started having endless disputes after I confronted her over the allegations. After some days, she went missing and I duly informed my in-laws. They came to my place and we joined forces to look for her.
“After some days, we found her body floating in a dam. A post-mortem was done and the cause of death was not conclusive as her body was in an advanced state of decomposition.
“My father-in-law demanded everything l had acquired with my wife during the course of our marriage before burying his daughter.
“He took eight beasts, a grinding mill, a harrow, a cultivator and some farm bricks. He also took my four children. I had no option as I wanted him to bury his daughter. I want him to return my property and my children,” Shumbaimwe told the court.
ln his defence, Shayamano said Shumbaimwe owes him part of the lobola for his late daughter and had voluntarily surrendered the property to him.
“I am surprised that he has dragged me to this court as he did not surrender the property under duress. He owes me part of my daughter’s bride price,” said Shayamano.
In his ruling, Chief Makoni said Shayamano’s actions border on extortion.
He said Shayamano took advantage of his son-in-law’s vulnerability following his wife’s suicide.
“It is a taboo to use a corpse to settle scores. What Shayamano did is unacceptable, it is clear that Shumbaimwe released the property under duress as he was afraid that his in-laws would not participate in burying his late wife.
“I am giving Shayamano seven days to return all the property he took from Shumbaimwe. If he wants his lobola, he should follow the correct procedure.
“Shumbaimwe can then approach the Magistrates’ Courts and apply for the custody of his children,’ ruled Chief Makoni.
— Manica Post