Chipinge Villagers Take Council To High Court
4 April 2024
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By A Correspondent| 13 Mahachi villagers who were yesterday convicted by Chipinge Magistrate Alfred Chinembiri are set to approach the High Court to appeal against the conviction and sentence.

Court appeal has been set to contest the sentencing of 13 Mahachi villagers by Justice Alfred Chinembiri of Chipinge Magistrates Court, for allegedly contravening section 24(1) as read with section 24 (4) of the Regional, Town and Country Act Chapter 29:12

The numbers of Mahachi villagers who were summoned before Chipinge Magistrates court started as 406 on their first court appearance on 5 February 2024.

The judgement by Justice Alfred Chinembiri ignored a number of yawning gaps, especially presented by Chipinge RDC, who brought contradictory Rhodesian maps that failed to prove that the accused were staying in a gazetted land . Throughout the trial the state witnesses were either unavailable or irrelevant to the matter before the courts.

It is on this basis that we are convinced a higher court will set aside the matter for lack of any merit

Importantly, the judgement by Alfred Chinembiri, has not given Chipinge Magistrates court any right or obligation to evict the villagers.

The court did not decide on the land ownership but only chose to penalise 13 out of 406 villagers to pay USD 50 fine before the 19th of April. 2024.

The judgement in question has no allocational effect on the villagers as they will continue to stay put as the legal counsel pursue justice at the High Court, which is part of the legal remedies available for them.

Advocate Tariro Tazvitya represents the villagers taking instructions from Professor Lovemore Madhuku.