by RICHARD MUPONDE
A CHIPINGE village head was left counting losses after his homestead was torched by his subject who accused the traditional leader of bewitching him and harbouring intentions to evict him from the village.
This came to light during the appearance of Joseph Kuwayani (43) of Mutowe Village under Chief Musikavanhu before Chipinge magistrate, Joshua Nembaware, facing charges of malicious damage to property.
He was convicted on his own plea of guilty.
In mitigation, Kuwayani said he was remorseful for his actions as he committed the offence in anger after the village head had threatened to bewitch him.
“I am sorry for my actions Your Worship. I was angry after the village head threatened to bewitch me and also evict me from my homestead. I am asking for your lenience when passing sentence,’ said Kuwayani.
He was sentenced to 20 months in prison of which five months were conditionally suspended for five years. A further five months was suspended on condition he restitutes the complainant $5 000 on or before February 28 in 2020.
Prosecutor Shamiso Ncube told the court that on October 13, this year, Kuwayani was drinking at Daisyhill Business Centre in Chipinge.
He then gathered that the village head, Edgar Garwi (72), was planning to chase him away from the village.
The news did not amuse him.
He left the business centre and passed through another villager, Gift Ngirandi’s homestead where he asked for a box of matches. He was given the match box without divulging his intentions.
Kuwayani then proceeded to Garwi’s homestead where he set alight one of the thatched huts.
He went and hid behind another hut before setting it on fire too.
He escaped from the homestead, but was positively identified by one of the villagers who had reacted to the inferno. Property worth $5 000 was destroyed.
A police report was made, leading to his arrest.