24 May 2017
A Gutu pastor, who gave a married congregant an underwear gift, has been fined a beast (alternatively US$400), by Chief Nyamandi of Masvingo.
Innocent Bhera tried to fight his innocence all the way to the High Court but still lost the case and is now left with no option but to pay the fine.
Bhera was dragged to Chief Nyamandi’s court in Gutu district of Masvingo after giving Leonard Machingauta’s wife a wrapped parcel, which he asked her not to open until she was alone.
Upon opening, she discovered that the gift was a new pair of knickers.
The woman reported to matter to her husband, who had been away for some weeks.
The offended husband ended up reporting the matter to the local chief.
The chief fined Bhera a bovine beast or US$400.
Unhappy with being punished for what he thought was an innocent gift to a favoured congregant, the pastor appealed to the Gutu Magistrates court where he also lost.
“The defendant brought the gift of panties to the plaintiff’s wife in his absence. Such conduct in terms of the African custom is prohibited.
“In the foregoing I don’t have any reason to set aside the decision of the Chief’s court, which I believe, based on the evidence led in this court is just and proper,” the magistrate ruled.
Undeterred, Bhera appealed to the High Court where Justice Alphas Chitakunye laughed him away.
“There was virtually no merit (in the appeal). The evidence led clearly favoured the respondent’s (husband) case. The magistrate’s finding on credibility cannot be said to be so unreasonable as to warrant this court’s interference,” the High Court ruled.