Friday, 17 December 2021

MY THREE UNCLES REFUSED TO ACCEPT MY LOBOLA

A RUSAPE woman’s bid to settle at her late father’s homestead received a major boost after Chief Makoni ruled in her favour and ordered her uncles to stop harassing her.

Patience Marevasei of Dewedzo last week dragged her three uncles — Kenneth, Tendai and Bernard — to Chief Makoni’s court, accusing them of barring her from settling at her father’s homestead and also refusing to sanction the unveiling of her late father’s tombstone.

The feud has been raging for a long time, resulting in Patience holding on to the tombstone for the past year.

Narrating her ordeal before Chief Makoni’s court, Patience described her uncles as a thorn in her flesh.

She said they are always playing the hard ball, to the extent of refusing to accept the payment of her bride price (roora) from her husband.

“My father passed on in 2010, and my uncles chased away my mother from her homestead.

“In 2017, I came back home following my husband’s death. I approached my uncles for a place to settle, but they refused to accommodate me, accusing me of being a woman of loose morals. I brought the matter before our village head, but my uncle snubbed him.

“After realising that my uncles were not welcoming me back home, I later swapped the place with another lady, but they destroyed the structures she was setting up,” said Patience.

She added: “I bought a tombstone for my father’s grave in 2020 but up to now I am still struck with it because they are refusing to cooperate and preside over the unveiling ceremony.

“My uncles also refused to accept my bride price when l got married.”

In their defence, the uncles denied ever harassing Patience. They claimed that she is disrespectful.

The trio admitted that they evicted Patience’s mother from her home, saying she had moved on following the death of their brother and had given birth to two kids with other men.

“We asked her mother to leave our late brother’s home after she started seeing other men.

“Patience is very disrespectful and does not recognise us as her uncles. This matter could have been amicably settled through family dialogue, but she is thick headed.

“She did not even inform us that her husband had passed on. We heard it through the grapevine.

“She had no right to settle a stranger on our family land. We told her to build her homestead on one of her late father’s fields, but we were surprised to learn that she had swapped the land with another person.

“We are opposed to that,” said one of the uncles, Bernard.

In his ruling, Chief Makoni said Patience is entitled to benefit from her father’s estate.

He implored on the Marevaseis to cooperate and play a leading role in unveiling their late brother’s tombstone.

Chief Makoni also warned Patience against being disrespectful to her uncles, and ordered her to reverse the land swap deal she had entered with the other lady.

“Patience has a right to inherit her father’s estate.

“The law does not select between a female or male heir when it comes to inheritance.

“She has bought a tombstone to be erected on her father’s grave, which is commendable.

“It is not proper for you to refuse to cooperate. Refusing to accept her bride price was also very foolish on your part.

“As for you, Patience, you must respect your uncles and live peacefully with them.

“Go back and settle at your father’s place, but don’t bring any strangers to that land. You did a good thing by buying the tombstone, but you don’t lead the process.

“You must consult your uncles in everything you do from now onwards. If they continue harassing you, you are free to come back for recourse,” ruled Chief Makoni.

In some local communities, the customary position of women as minors and as inferior to men still impedes female children from inheriting their parents’ estates. Manica Post

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