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OUTSPOKEN Ntabazinduna chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni who was slapped with an 18-month jail sentence by a Bulawayo magistrate after he was convicted of malicious damage to property has appealed both the conviction and sentence.
Ndiweni and 23 of his subjects pleaded not guilty to the charge, but were on convicted by Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove.
Ndiweni who instructed his legal team to apply for bail also want to pay $20 for the crime commited.
Bail application papers seen by this publication read:
“We refer to the above matter and to our verbal communication with yours today. We intend to make an application for bail pending appeal tomorrow. We have been advised that the Magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove is now stationed at Western Commonage Magistrates Court. We therefore request that we make an application for bail pending appeal before her either at Tredgold Magistrates Court or at Western Common, Magistrates Court.”
While the appeal papers concluded as follows:
“Wherefore Appellants pray for the setting aside of both the conviction and sentence and as a consequence they be found not guilty and acquitted of the charges.
“Alternatively if conviction is upheld 1st Appellant prays that his sentence which read as follows:
“1st Appellant be and is hereby sentenced to 24 months imprisonment of which six months is suspended for five years on condition that he does not within that period commit a similar offence and to serve the remaining eighteen months.
be set aside and be substituted with:
“Appellant be and is hereby sentenced to 24 months imprisonment of which six months is suspended for five years on condition that he does not within that period commit a similar offence and the remaining eighteen months to be suspended on condition that Appellants pay a fine of $20.00.
The traditional leader’s 23 subjects were sentenced to 24 months imprisonment each, of which six months were suspended on condition that they do not commit a similar offence for the next five years, while the remainder of the sentence was suspended on condition that they performed 525 hours of community service.
In passing out judgement, Magistrate Mushove said Ndiweni’s moral blameworthiness was high as he was a custodian of the law.
“Him as a chief, there should be disparity in the manner in which he is treated in this case and his subjects. This case was committed in a barbaric manner.
It’s actually shocking that in this modern society, a chief can apply such punishment on his subjects.” Mushove said.
Ndiweni (54) and his subjects were convicted of damaging Fetti Mbele’s property and a number of witnesses testified, including Zanu-PF secretary for
administration, Obert Mpofu.
Mpofu’s involvement in the case came after Chief Ndiweni’s testimony in court last year, where he claimed the case emanated from Mpofu’s efforts to “fix” him
after he had filed criminal charges against him (Mpofu). He alleged that Mpofu stole 200 cattle from his late father, Chief Khayisa Ndiweni.
Chief Ndiweni said he had reported the stock theft case to Mbembesi Police Station, but Mpofu had used his influence as a minister to make the docket
Ndiweni claimed politics was at play in the matter, accusing Mpofu of influencing Mbele, his wife and members of the ruling Zanu-PF to interfere with his
traditional court order. Source – bulawayo24
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