Ntabazinduna traditional chief and fearless government critic Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni has been jailed for an effective 18 months after he was convicted on charges of destroying a villager’s property.
The 54-year-old traditional leader was initially handed a 24 months jail term by a Bulawayo High Court judge, but six months were suspended on the condition that he does not commit a similar offence within five years.
23 accomplices in the case were also sentenced 24 months, with 18 months suspended.
The remaining 6 months will however be commuted to 525 hours of community service.
Chief Ndiweni and the accomplices were convicted for damaging the property belonging Mr Fetti Mbele’s property, who had been banished from the village by the chief after his wife Ms Nonkangelo Mpengesi was allegedly caught having sex with another villager.
In July last year, Chief Ndiweni ruled that Mr Mbele and his ‘adulterous’ wife should be banished from Sifelani village, saying ‘prostitution’ will not be tolerated in his area.
During the court proceedings yesterday, Kimpton Sibanda (72), a village head and two other villagers, claimed they were ordered by Chief Ndiweni to destroy Mbele’s garden fence and kraal for defying the Chief’s verdict.
In convicting the 24, Bulawayo magistrate, Ms Gladmore Mushove highlighted that the case was committed in a barbaric manner and the first accused person is a man of authority who is mandated to protect his subjects and ensure harmony in the community.