Amid Hunger in Zim, Chief Outlaws Growing of Small Grain Crops, Summons Couple for Trial

A ZIMBABWEAN couple is standing trial today in Hurungwe, Mashonaland West province before Chief Chundu (born Abel Mbasera) after they were charged with growing (mhunga) millet crop, which the traditional leader considers to be a taboo and yet government is promoting the growing of millet and other small grains to boost food security in the country.

Ishemel Madhuviko aged 47 years and his wife Prosper Mashanda aged 42 years will on Sunday 15 March 2020 appear before Chief Chundu’s Community Court, which will be held at Mahawu Secondary School in Hurungwe District at 2:PM.

Besides answering to the charge of growing millet crop in Chief Chundu’s area, the couple will also answer to charges of communicating with the traditional leader over the phone, asking his wife’s brother, who is employed as a police officer to plead with the Chief to persuade him to reconsider his decision ordering the destruction of the millet crop, threatening anyone who will attempt to destroy the millet crop and for informing his lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights about the Chief’s decision to outlaw the growing of millet crop in his area.

Chief Chundu’s decision to outlaw the growing of small grains, which is purportedly a “traditional” belief, where the growing of millet is considered taboo and which was practiced during the colonial era, is at variance with government, which in recent years has been aggressively advocating and promoting the growing of small grains, which are drought resistant crops in order to alleviate hunger and enhance food security in the wake of successive droughts and to mitigate the effects of climate change in Zimbabwe.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights