BIKITA - A village head who was suspended by Chief Marozva over five years ago has engaged lawyers to help him challenge the move and be paid all the allowances that he has been denied since 2014.
Fana Mudhodhomera, who claims to be the legitimate Chinoira village head, told TellZim News that Chief Marozva, whose real name is Phillip Mudhe, had overstepped his mandate by authorizing his suspension and replacement by Prosper Machingambi.
He recently instructed Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners to write to Bikita District Administrator (DA) Bernard Hadzirabwi to seek redress.
“We are informed that the current Chief Marozva Joseph Phillip Mudhe wrote a letter to our client purportedly communicating his suspension and the appointment of Prosper Machingambi as the new village head. We are also aware that from 2014, our client has not been receiving, from your offices, his monthly allowance as village head. Furthermore, we are fully aware that the Chief has no powers to unilaterally suspend, remove or appoint village heads. As such, the suspension and subsequent removal of our client from office of village head is a patent illegality,” reads part of the letter to Hadzirabwi.
The lawyers argue that in terms of the traditional Leaders Act [Chapter 29:17], the power to appoint a village head rests with the permanent secretary in the Local Government ministry who endorses a headman’s nomination with written approval of the chief of the area.
They also say that it rests with the secretary to appoint an acting village head to serve for a maximum of two years if there is need.
“The Traditional Leaders’ Act clearly does not give the Chief powers to unilaterally appoint a village head of his choice…The Chief thus usurped the functions of the headman and futilely tried to change the wording of the provision in order to justify his unwarranted usurpation that resulted in the present illegality,” reads the letter.
In his own letter to Mudhodhomera dated June 12, 2020, Chief Marozva instructs Mudhodhemera to stop practicing duties meant for a village head.
“You are not village head of Chinoira village. Therefore, you have no authority to call for village assembly meetings. Mr Prosper C. Machingambi is Village Head of Chinoira Village,” reads Chief Marozva’s letter.
However, in his response to the lawyers, Hadzirabwi appears to take sides with Chief Marozva whom Mudhodhomera accuses of abusing his power to victimise him and appoint his puppet.
“Chief Marozva did not suspend Fana Mudhodhomera, he only applied recommended suspension following acts of misconduct by Fana Mudhodhomera. On the issue of Fana’s allowances, we stand to be advised by the Ministry,” wrote Hadzirabwi in his response dated August 13, 2020.