Home | HEADLINES | Chief Negomo summons PM Tsvangirai to appear before traditional court for paying lobola in November

Chief Negomo summons PM Tsvangirai to appear before traditional court for paying lobola in November

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Chief Negomo, Mr Luscious Chitsinde, yesterday summoned Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to appear before his traditional court in Chiweshe on Saturday for paying lobola during the sacred month of November.

PM Tsvangirai has confirmed that he married Ms Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo last month. The Karimatsenga family is from Chiweshe.

Chief Negomo last week summoned the family to his court and found it guilty of violating the customary rule which stipulates that no traditional rituals should be performed in November.

The chief delivered the summons at the PM’s Charter House offices in Harare in the company of his aides, Mr Watson Baziwell and Mr Cairo Mhandu.

An official at the PM’s offices only identified as Ms Zigomo received the summons on behalf of her boss. Initially, Chief Negomo wanted to hand over the summons to the PM personally at his MDC-T offices at Harvest House.

But on his arrival at Harvest House, he was advised that the PM was in a meeting with party officials. He was then told to serve the summons at the PM’s Charter House offices.

In his summons, Chief Negomo said he wanted the PM to explain why he paid lobola in November in his area of jurisdiction.

“Huya uzondiudza kuti sei wakaroora mwedzi weMbudzi mudunhu mangu kwaKanyemba mumhuri yekwaKarimatsenga, masabhuku Chipoyera,” read part of the summons. “Wakaita chipini kana kuti mashura mudunhu mangu (makuna-kuna).”

Speaking to journalists after delivering the summons, Chief Negomo said he will send his aides to the PM’s offices today to ensure he acknowledges receipt of the summons.

The chief said if the PM fails to attend the court session, he will pass a default judgment.

“I have delivered the summons to his office,” said Chief Negomo. “I expect him to attend the court session on December 10, failure of which I will pass a default judgment. Both families (Tsvangirai and

Karimatsenga) are guilty because what they have done is taboo.”

PM Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Mr Luke Tamborinyoka said he heard that the summons were delivered, but was yet to see them.

“The Prime Minister has made clear his position on this matter. As far as we are concerned, this is now a closed chapter. The drama may continue, but his position will never change.”

The Karimatsenga family was asked to attend the court session this Saturday when the PM is expected to attend.

A legal expert last night said any person, regardless of his or her legal status, can be summoned by a traditional leader.

“In this country, we have embraced our customs as part of the law so everyone should respect them,” he said.

“If you happen to violate those customs in a certain area, the traditional leader who has jurisdiction over that area is empowered to summon you and you have an obligation to respond. No one is above the law and we should respect our laws.”

He said if the PM is exempted from appearing before Chief Negomo, that would set a wrong precedent.

The legal expert said a person can appeal at the Magistrate Courts against the ruling of a chief.

In the past, the Magistrates Courts overturned some rulings from traditional courts.

Chiefs are empowered by the Traditional Leaders’ Act of 1998 to promote and uphold cultural values among members of communities under their jurisdiction.

They are also tasked with the preservation of the extended family unit and the promotion of traditional family life.

Traditional leaders have condemned PM Tsvangirai’s marriage in November.

Said Chief Mutekedza of Chivhu: “Such practices have contributed to severe droughts in the country and are also a factor in failure to have children.

“In Shona culture, what the Prime Minister did is taboo. The practice must not be followed by everyone else because it attracts penalties.”

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