Friday, 15 April 2016


Former Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere has dismissed claims he bribed Marondera magistrate, Shane Kubonera to dismiss the witchcraft case in which he was being accused of practising sorcery by his son Mangwiza.

In his response to an application for review that was filed by Mangwiza early this month, Chigwedere, through his lawyer Tendai Masawi, said the magistrate gave a competent and correct ruling and urged the court to dismiss his son’s application.

“Applicant has merely made a bold assertion without tendering any support. Applicant has falsely alleged that I engage in witchcraft and, as if that is not enough, he has also proceeded to accuse me of corruption. I believe this honourable court should not let his actions go unpunished,” he said.

“I personally feel that the magistrate in the court a quo (previous court) applied his mind and facts before him and gave a competent and correct ruling. I strongly believe that there was no bias or corruption on the part of the presiding officer.

“Wherefore, I pray for dismissal of the application, with applicant to pay costs at legal practitioner and client scale.”

In his application for review under case number HC 3401/16, Mangwiza argued that Kubonera, who handled the witchcraft case at Marondera Civil Court, had shown bias in his ruling and that he applied general law instead of customary law.

“Subsection 3 of the Customary Law and Local Courts Act Chapter 7.05 was supposed to be considered in the application of customary law. The presiding officer did not apply or use the aforesaid section 3. This was at his fingertips, if not in his mind, word for word, but he completely ignored it,” Mangwiza said.

Sometime last month, Chigwedere, a former Mashonaland East provincial governor, was absolved by the Marondera Civil Court after the matter was rejected on the basis that it was more of a spiritual than a civil matter.

In his response, Chigwedere described his son’s arguments as “vague and embarrassing”.

“I aver that the application brought before this honourable court is vague and embarrassing, I strongly believe that the magistrates’ court is not a ‘local court’ as contemplated by the Customary and Local Courts Act,” he said.

“I am advised by my legal practitioners of record, which advice I accept to be true and correct, that a magistrates’ court being a creature of statute, whether or not it’s applying customary law or general law to a case, in the Magistrate Court Act, the rules still apply.

“Further, for the applicant to argue that the presiding magistrate should have taken the role of a chief or a village head is misleading and wrong. This is not what the provisions of Customary Law and Local Courts Act envisage. It is illogical to argue that the moment customary law is applied, the magistrate immediately sits as a chief.”

Chigwedere is being sued together with his second wife Emilia Zharare and the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association. newsday


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