There was drama at the Mutare Magistrates’ Court after a Musharu man last Friday appeared in court dressed in traditional loincloths(nhembe neshashiko) after he had breached a section of the Wildlife Act.
Johnson Makarira (34) was clad in loincloths and had a pair of short black skin tights inside the loincloths.It was evident that he had nothing on the upper part of his body as he had been given a jacket so that he could cover his body and looksomewhat decent for the court hearing.
He appeared before Mutare magistrate, Ms Tracy Muzondo, facing physical abuse charges after he had assaulted his 67-year-old aunt after a misunderstanding over snakes in their area.Makarira had initially appeared before Mutare senior magistrate, Mr Langton Mukwengi that same day after he was arrested over the possession of a dead python.
Mr Walter Saunyama prosecuted.
It was the State’s case that Makarira was found in possession of a dead python which he had wrapped around his neck and body. It was after hehad been arrested on the physical abuse charge that the police realised that he had a dead python around his body as he was dressed in loincloths.
In his defence, Makarira said he was of royal blood and that it was his duty to warn his people on the dangers of killing snakes as they were in the habit of doing so.
“All I wanted was for the police to convey a message to the Department of Parks and Wildlife Authority that they should come and educate the Musharu people on the importance of wildlife preservation. They are killing snakes willy-nilly and I was on my way to report that to the police.
The snake I was carrying was part of the evidence,” he stated.
On the matter of the physical abuse, it was alleged that on June 6, Getrude Saungweme (67) was having a misunderstanding with her son-in-law Farai Chijongwana over the issue of snakes that were allegedly slithering freely in their village. Saungweme went on to assault Chijongwana with a stick.Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted. Makarira is alleged to have tried to restrain the two from fighting, leading to Saungweme leaving Chijongwana and vented her anger on Makarira.Mr Karombe said Makarira picked an empty beer bottle and struck Saungweme with it. Saungweme sustained lacerations and a swollen cheek.
Responding to these allegations, Makarira said he was acting in defence after Saungweme had grabbed his private parts.
“Your Worship, I was trying to defend myself. Because of the clothes I had on (the loincloths) it was very easy for her to injure me.
“In the scuffle, she grabbed my manhood and pulled it. I had nothing else to do, but pick the nearest object and defend myself. In this case it was thebeer bottle,” he explained.
Makarira told the court that Saungweme had thrown sand in his eyes before grabbing his manhood.
“I am Chijongwana’s go-between (munyai) and it disturbed me when his mother-in-law attacked me by grabbing my private parts,” he said.
Makarira pleaded guilty to both cases, but was remanded in custody to today (Friday) for sentencing. Ms Muzondo ruled that Makarira should be examined by doctors as the court doubted his sanity.