British municipal officer who stopped to become tribal chief in Zimbabwe is imprisoned
British municipal officer who stopped to become tribal chief in Zimbabwe, where he often takes the side of white landowners whose farms are being raided, is imprisoned in a & # 39; politically motivated & # 39; process
- Former Waltham Forest auditor has been imprisoned in Zimbabwe for two years
- He left Great Britain five years ago to become a chief in the Matabeleland region
- Felix Ndiweni, 53, was convicted Friday for malicious property damage
- His supporters say, however, that his arrest was politically motivated
- Ndiweni is vocal critic of the government of Mnangagwa, supports Western sanctions
A former municipal officer who left the UK to become tribal chief for the Matabeleland region in Zimbabwe has been imprisoned in the country.
Felix Ndiweni, 53, was sentenced to two years behind bars with six months suspended for malicious material damage on Friday.
He worked as an auditor for Waltham Forest and lived in Essex until five years ago.
His supporters say his trial was politically motivated and an attempt to silence Ndiweni, openly critical of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government.
He chose white landowners whose property had been flooded with supporters of the ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU – PF).
According to local media, Ndiweni's lawyers have appealed.
Felix Ndiweni, 53, (photo) was sentenced to two years behind bars with six months suspended for malicious material damage on Friday
Ndiweni was tried along with 23 others for ordering the hedge of a woman accused of adultery.
The villagers were each sentenced to 525 hours of community service, while the chief received a prison sentence.
The riot police intervened to dismantle protesters when his sentence was announced.
Zimbabwean senator and human rights lawyer David Coltart tweeted Friday: & My thoughts tonight are improperly locked up w @ChiefKhayisa Chief Ndiweni today.
& # 39; I have no doubt that this prosecution and sentencing of 18 months in prison is a direct consequence of his principled attitude to injustice perpetrated by the brutal and corrupt regime of Mnangagwa. & # 39;
His supporters say his trial was politically motivated and an attempt to silence Ndiweni was openly critical of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government (photo)
Ndiweni worked as an auditor for the Waltham Forest council and lived in Canvey Island, Essex until he resigned five years ago and moved to Matabeleland where he became chief.
The prisoner has vocally supported Western sanctions against Zimbabwe and accused Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Mnangagwa of chairing human rights violations during the Gukurahundi massacre in the 1980s, The times reported.
A day before his arrest, Ndiweni shared a video on Twitter calling on people to participate in peaceful protests against the government.
Tribal chiefs are the direct form of government for Zimbabweans who live on municipal lands. The establishment of traditional leadership continues to operate alongside modern state structures.
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