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Headman Nerupiri demands US$100 from late Brigadier Ruocha’s family

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Headman Nerupiri demands US$100 from late Brigadier Ruocha’s family

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ELLEN MLAMBO
MIRROR REPORTER

GUTU – It never rains but pours for the late national hero, Brigadier Patius Charles Ruocha’s family.
After losing the late Brigadier Ruocha’s wife Grace Gumbo Ruocha, Headman Nerupiri born Burton Nerupiri is demanding US$100 from the bereaved family allegedly because he was not afforded a chance to speak at the burial.
Nerupiri and his village head David Mahove also demanded and were allegedly given the hind leg of the slaughtered beast leaving mourners without enough relish.
An angry villager said if such could happen to a national hero like Brigadier Ruocha’s wife it means worse things are happening to ordinary villagers. Ruocha was probably the biggest hero of the 1998 DRC war.
“Corruption and oppression by traditional leaders are stinking. The problem is that there is no system that they account to,” said the villager.
Ruocha received State assisted burial as happens with all national heroes’ wives which means they are not supposed to bear any costs for the burials.
She was buried at the Ruocha rural home in Mahove Village, Nerupiri, Gutu two and-half weeks ago. Nerupiri allegedly made the demand for the US$100 through Brigadier Ruocha’s son Passmore.
Ruocha’s brother, Obas however disputed allegations that they refused Nerupiri the chance to speak. They said that many people dispersed before the end of the funeral hence the headmen was left with no one to address.
Nerupiri confirmed the case to The Mirror but demanded to know the newspaper’s source. He said the people were pre-empting the case because there are no summons that have been issued.
Masvingo lawyer, Collen Maboke said the headman’s claims are unlawful.
He said it is not mandatory to have a headman talk at a funeral and since the gathering is not a public event, the proceedings are decided by the family.
“What transpired is that people left before the burial ended. We couldn’t stop them from leaving the place and this is what we are being blamed of. The burial got State assistance,” said Passmore.
“That’s something which just happened, the case was not brought to the court. Who has reported the issue to The Mirror? No one has been summoned to the court.
“These people undermined the authority of the headman. It is common knowledge that the headman, village head and councillor are supposed to speak at funerals, making announcements and appreciating the gathering for paying their last respect. To our surprise none of us spoke at the occasion. They voluntarily offered us some left overs of meat, we never requested them to pay us with such,” said Mahove.

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