Wednesday, 26 June 2019

CHIEF IS OUT OF TOUCH : MPOFU


ZANU-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu yesterday said Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni is in the habit of making false allegations against Government and the ruling party due to ignorance since he spent many years out of the country.

Testifying before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove in a matter in which Chief Ndiweni and his 13 subjects are accused of destroying a villager’s property, Cde Mpofu said Chief Ndiweni was out of touch with reality.

The former Home Affairs and Culture Minister came to testify after Chief Ndiweni alleged that Cde Mpofu was behind his arrest and had influenced the complainant in their matter, Mr Fetti Mbele, to file criminal charges.

“The first accused person (Chief Ndiweni) has been raising false allegations against Zanu-PF and the Government. His problem is that he has been out of the country for a long time hence he has lost touch with the goings on in the country” Cde Mpofu said.

He said he didn’t even know the complainant in the matter, saying when the incident happened he was in Harare.

“I was actually in Harare when the incident happened and in addition to that I don’t even know Mr Mbele (the complainant) and even if the court asks me to identify him, I won’t be able to positively identify him,” Cde Mpofu said.

He also denied having held a meeting with Chief Ndiweni whom he described as a “political foe.”

“I have never had any meeting with the first accused person. Other than that we are not related in any way except that he is a political foe who could issue statement after statement about me. He makes a lot of anti-Government and Zanu-PF statements and that is what I know,” Cde Mpofu said.

He also denied allegations that he flexed his political muscle by using his position as Home Affairs Minister to influence police at Mbembesi Police Station to arrest the accused.

“I have never spoken to any police officer at Mbembesi Police Station in the last five years. It is through the Ntabazinduna leadership that I got to know of the matter after they had notified me as their MP. I then referred them to women lawyers associations since the case involved a woman,” Cde Mpofu said.

Chief Ndiweni told the court that the charges they were facing stemmed from Cde Mpofu’s efforts to fix him after he filed criminal charges against him alleging that he stole his late father, Chief Khayisa’s 200 head of cattle.

He said he reported the theft at Mbembesi Police Station but Cde Mpofu, who was then Home Affairs and Culture Minister, allegedly facilitated the docket’s disappearance.

Cde Mpofu has since filed a $300 000 lawsuit against Chief Ndiweni over the allegations and the matter is pending.

According to court papers, Mr Mbele of Ntabazinduna was banished from the village by the chief after his wife Ms Nonkangelo Mpengesi was allegedly caught having sex with another villager.

In July last year, Chief Ndiweni ruled that Mr Mbele and his “adulterous” wife should be banished from Sifelani village, saying “prostitution” will not be tolerated in his area.

Mr Dumisani Dube, early last year, asked the court to subpoena Cde Mpofu to testify in court following allegations by the traditional leader implicating him in their arrest.

However, Cde Mpofu, through an affidavit dated July 6, 2018, which was brought to court by his lawyer Mr Byron Sengweni, declined to testify saying he knew nothing about the matter.

Mr Dube then sought a court order compelling Cde Mpofu to attend court after which the latter was served with the summons.

Chief Ndiweni and the other accused persons are denying the violence charges levelled against them by Mr Mbele.

The prosecutor, Mr Kudakwashe Jaravaza, said on July 26 last year at around 4PM, Mbele and his wife arrived from Bulawayo to find some villagers standing outside their homestead.

Kimpton Sibanda (72), a village head and two other villagers, claimed they were ordered by Chief Ndiweni to destroy Mbele’s garden fence and the kraal.

“Sibanda instructed the villagers to destroy the fence and kraal. At around 5PM, Chief Ndiweni arrived and ordered the villagers to continue destroying Mr Mbele’s fence and kraal,” said Mr Jaravaza.

The order followed Mr Mbele’s alleged defiance of Chief Ndiweni’s verdict to divorce his wife.

Chief Ndiweni had given a ruling that Mr Mbele’s wife should vacate her husband’s home, but she did not comply with the order since they had resolved the matter as a couple, prompting the chief to order the destruction of his fence and kraal.
The trial continues on July 3. Chronicle

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