The Bindura Civil Court has ordered Chief Nyamaropa to return a cow and $1 200 forcibly taken from a woman in his village at gunpoint as maintenance for her co-wife’s children.
The court set aside proceedings conducted by Chief Nyamaropa on April 30, and ordered the chief to return a cow and US$50 taken from Judith Gonye in November, 2022.
The court also ordered Chief Nyamaropa to return US$1 150 which was given to his debt collector identified as Godfrey Chari, within 30 days.
Gonye, who was represented by Mrs Priscilla Muchada from the Legal Aid Directorate approached the court seeking her wealth back.
This was after the second wife, Loice Mukumba obtained a maintenance order from the chief of US$80 per month against their husband Rayson Bhobho.
After marrying Mukumba, Bhobho allegedly neglected his first wife Gonye and their three children.
According to court papers, Gonye relocated to their husband’s rural home at Takawira Village in Shamva.
An unnamed brother-in-law helped Gonye to settle and taught her tobacco farming.
She single-handily acquired five cows which were registered in the brother-in-law’s stock card.
Bhobho later lost his job, abandoned his second wife and relocated to South Africa where he is reportedly staying with another wife.
Mukumba relocated to the same rural home. After realising Gonye’s financial stability, she claimed maintenance through the chief resulting in Gonye losing a cow and US$50 in November last year.
On April 30, Mukumba made another claim of US$480 maintenance, US$110 arrears, US$150 school fees and US$330 debt she wanted repaid.
Chief Nyamaropa’s messengers Chari and one Hwata went to Gonye’s kraal to attach the remaining cows.
They did not find the cows and drew a gun which they pointed at Gonye ordering her to go back home and give them the money.
They loaded 10 first-grade tobacco bales and gave her 48 hours to raise the money.
She then paid US$1 150 including storage fees to get back the tobacco bales.
Her lawyer, Mrs Muchada told the court that chiefs do not have jurisdiction to entertain maintenance cases.
She said pointing a gun at a person is a criminal act and the duo, Chari and Hwata are not official chief’s messengers and debt collectors.
These do not fall under the Traditional Leaders Act nor the Customary Law and Local Court Act