A 59-YEAR-OLD man was kidnapped and circumcised against his will during a horrific 12-day ordeal, a court heard.
John Chakabaya was grabbed by a group of 10 traditionalists from the Shangaan tribe and forced to undergo the procedure at a makeshift clinic in Chilonga, Shurugwi.
Last Friday, the leader of the kidnap gang Masenyani Mandhalele, 29, was jailed for six years after two years on the run.
Nine other men involved in the crime are believed to have fled to South Africa where Mandhalele had also hid until he sneaked back into the country last month and was arrested.
Madhalele pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and assault but was convicted by Chiredzi magistrate Tinashe Ndokera.
Ndokera said before sentencing: “I understand that the accused is a first offender and a family man, but on the other hand it is difficult to overlook the manner the offences were commited. Both offences were committed in deplorable ways.”
Public prosecutor Liberty Hove told the court that on August 31, 2010, Masenyani and nine other men went into the woods where John Chakabaya was fetching firewood.
When Chakabaya realised that it was the Shangani regiment on their annual circumcision festival, he stopped his chores as a sign of respect for the traditional practice.
Unmoved by his show of respect to his culture, the group made a cow horn around him and force-marched him to Chikulingwi circumcision base where he was tested for HIV and then circumcised against his will.
The court heard Chakabaya was kept in a state of nudity for 12 days. As punishment for being the only alien among the Shangani people, Chakabaya was forced to sit on a rock for two hours every day and was denied medication, decent food and shelter.
Upon his release, Chakabaya reported the matter to the police, leading to Mandhalele’s arrest. Mandhalele later fled to South Africa but was rearrested last week when he resurfaced at his rural home.