Jailed Nhlambabalayi Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni’s bail pending appeal judgement has been set for tomorrow, 28 August 2019 by Bulawayo High Court today.
Chief Ndiweni, through his lawyer Professor Welshamn Ncube, was today appearing for his bail hearing pending appeal before Bulawayo High court Judge, Justice Mabhikwa.
Ndiweni is seeking to be released against both the conviction and sentence that was handed down by the magistrate court putting him behind bars for 18 months over malicious damage to property charges after he allegedly destroyed property belonging to a villager who had resisted an order to leave his area.
Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushowe suspended six months on condition of good behaviour and ordered the remaining 18 months to be an effective jail term.
Ndiweni’s 23 assailants were sentenced to 24 months in prison with 6 months suspended on condition of good behaviour suspending the remaining 18 months on condition they each complete 525 hours of community service.
She said the offence was committed in a barbaric manner and it is unbelievable for a chief in this day and age to punish his subjects in that manner.
“A chief’s duties include protecting his people and maintaining peace and freedom, now for him to break the law like this is very disturbing. The court will take into consideration that the other 23 accused persons were acting under the instruction of a chief who is a voice of authority. As such there shall be a disparity in sentencing,” said Mushowe.
Mushowe ordered that the 525 hours of community service be completed within 20 weeks starting from August 19.
Reports said that members of the Mthwakazi Republic Party, who spent the whole day at court in solidarity with the chief sang and danced in protest against the sentence on the day Chief Ndiweni met his fate.
The court heard that Chief Ndiweni had given a ruling that Fetti Mbele, a villager in his area divorce his wife Nonkangelo Mpengesi after she was caught having sex with another man.
Mbele defied Chief Ndiweni’s order after he had resolved the matter with his wife, prompting the chief to order the destruction of his fence and kraal.
Chief Ndiweni is well known for criticizing President Mnangagwa and his ruling party, ZANU PF for ‘misruling’.
BulawayoChief NdiweniED. MnangagwaMDCZANU PF