Selling of wild fruits, mountain prayers outlawed

09 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Selling of wild fruits, mountain prayers outlawed Chief Saunyama

The ManicaPost


Cletus Mushanawani
News Editor

SELLING of wild fruits, praying in mountains and wearing red clothes during the rainy season is outlawed in Chief Saunyama’s area, Nyanga.

In an interview this week, the recently installed Chief Saunyama, born Mr Solomon Mapuranga, implored all his subjects to respect the local traditions and customs to avoid having brushes with the law.

Chief Saunyama was installed by President Mnangagwa on November 2, 2023.

He took over from Mr Victor Dahwa Saunyama who was the acting chief for the past 13 years.

Among the transgressions which attract penalties from the local traditional leadership, among them Chief Saunyama, as well as Headmen Mushonga, Sanyamaropa, Madongonda, Ganje, Nyamutowa, Tsvito and Nyamahumba are the gathering and selling of wild fruits like mazhanje (sugar plum), holding prayer sessions in mountains and wearing red clothes during the rainy season.

“We always want people to respect our traditional norms and values. Gathering and selling of wild fruits like mazhanje is outlawed in my area. People can gather them for their own consumption and not to profiteer.

“Wild animals like baboons need to benefit from these wild fruits. If people are caught with a bucket-full of mazhanje, their penalty will be a bucket-full of maize which will be thrown into the forest for the baboons and other wild animals to benefit. It should be a win-win situation for both human beings and wild animals.

“Prayers in mountains are also outlawed as some people violate our sacred places. We want to live in harmony with nature. Some of the mountains are burial places of our traditional leaders and are also used for rituals, so they should not be defiled through hoisting cloths of different colours, including the offensive red colour.

“Wearing of red clothes during the summer cropping season is also outlawed as this will anger the spirits of the land who will punish us with droughts,” said Chief Saunyama who was accompanied by Headman Landmine Madongonda during the interview.

Chipped in Headman Madongonda: “We know that people have their rights when it comes to wearing clothes, but each and every area has its norms and values as well as traditions and customs which should be religiously adhered to.

“We are the custodians of our culture, so we need them to be respected so that we pass them on to the future generations. We do not want calamities to haunt us because of our own transgressions.”

Turning to traditional healers who are notorious for dishing out goblins and ripping people off when they try to return them, Chief Saunyama said those found wanting will face the full wrath of the law.

“We have since summoned one of the notorious traditional healers in our area, Sekuru Sithole, to appear before my court for selling goblins to fortune seekers and power hungry individuals. For years, Sithole has been clashing with his clients when they try to surrender back the goblins and we have heard stories of some of the victims dying as a result of their fall-outs with him.

“We are totally against the shedding of blood. When the two parties fail to agree on settling their disputes, they should seek the intervention of our community courts than to take the law into their own hands. We do not want traditional healers who rip-off people. We will never hesitate to bring these culprits to book.

“Anyone who is a victim of the traditional healers should not hesitate to approach our courts for redress,” said Chief Saunyama.

He also warned Village Heads and Headmen to desist from presiding over cases that are not under their jurisdiction, including murder, avenging spirits and witchcraft allegations.

“Serious cases should be brought before the Chief’s court. We recently fined one of our Village Heads for presiding over a case beyond his jurisdiction after a mysterious death was recorded in his area. We do not want greedy leaders in our midst. Corruption will not be tolerated and will be dealt with severely, despite one’s social standing,” thundered Chief Saunyama.

In protecting children’s rights to education, Chief Saunyama recently read the riot act on some school heads who were either turning learners away for non-payment of fees or withholding their national examination results.

“We had a meeting with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education (Dr Torerayi Moyo) at his Harare office recently and he did not mince his words on school heads flouting the Education Act by barring learners with arrears from attending classes. He empowered us to summon errant heads and make them pay for their sins. l have already summoned some of the school heads to appear before my court and they were fined different fines, others escaped with cautions.

“School heads and their School Development Committees should engage parents and come up with payment plans instead of punishing innocent children. It is the parents and the schools that have contracts to enrol the learners, so the learners should not be punished for their parents’ failure to pay up,” he said.


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