JAILED Ntabazinduna Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni’s spirits remain unbroken despite an 18 months jail sentence he is serving at Khami Maximum Prison, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has said.
Ndiweni was slapped with one year six months jail term by Bulawayo Magistrate Gladmore Mushove last week for damaging his subject, Fetti Mbele’s homestead.
His other 23 co-accused were sentenced to 525 hours of community service each.
Chamisa, who paid a surprise visit to Khami Prison Saturday 35km west of Bulawayo, wrote on Twitter: “The People’s Chief’ Ndiweni remains buoyant against a sentence his loyalists perceive as harsh.
“Humbled by inmates’ affection at Khami Maximum Prison outside Bulawayo where I visited The people’s Chief.”
Mdc secretary general Charlton Hwende confirmed Chamisa had visited Ndiweni at Khami Prison.
“Its true. As you know it has been prison family week and various leaders were tasked to visit our people in prison across the country. The president (Chamisa) was in Bulawayo and visited Chief Ndiweni as well as some of our jailed comrades at Khami Prison,” said Hwende.
Chamisa, whose relationship with Ndiweni seems to have angered authorities in Harare, said Ndiweni was being persecuted for exercising his duties.
“Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni was sentenced to 18 months in prison for exercising his lawful duties as chief. He is upbeat, unbroken and thanking you all for your solidarity,” said Chamisa.
Ndiweni also graced the MDC’s congress in Gweru three months ago.
The 54 year-old traditional leader claims politics was at play in his case as Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, who formed part of witnesses against him, stole his father’s cattle.
An attempt by pro-Ndiweni groups and the MDC in solidarity with the incarcerated chief was blocked by police early this week.
Ndiweni seemed to have attracted the ire of the State after openly supporting Chamisa’s call for countrywide demonstrations beginning in Harare from his jail cell.
All the demonstrations planned for five cities were banned by police.
The opposition Zapu this week held a prayer meeting claiming it feared Ndiweni might be poisoned by State agents while in prison.