Analysts who spoke to the Standard expressed anger over Chief Ndiweni’s 18-month jail term. They have cited many reasons why the prison sentence does not tally with the offence.
Speaking to the Standard Senator Coltart said the crops destroyed were worth about RTGS $300 and there was no evidence that the Chief destroyed the crops himself. Said Colart:
The prosecution was spurious, the judgement deeply flawed and the sentence utterly ridiculous.
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Even if one accepts the deeply flawed State case as fact (which is strenuously denied by Chief Ndiweni), the damage alleged to property is only RTGS$300, namely US$30, for which Chief Ndiweni has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.
There was no evidence that Chief Ndiweni himself damaged the property, but somehow he has been found vicariously guilty. This is a profoundly shocking development and the hand of Zanu PF is clearly obvious
An MDC Party Bigwig from Matebeleland echoed David Coltart’s sentiments:
We are quite aware that this is not aimed at the chief in particular but just to instill fear in the generality of disgruntled people of Matabeleland and the entire nation.
We want once again to take this oppotunity to join our president Advocate Nelson Chamisa in calling for the immédiate release of Chief Ndiwani for what they are doing is only adding salt to the wound.
Chief Ndiweni was convicted on Thursday and sentenced to 18 Months in Prison on Friday. Public anger emanating from the lengthy sentenced boiled over, riot police had to be deployed to quell down an imminent protest.