Circumcision in Zimbabwe
Circumcision in Zimbabwe

A Zimbabwean tribesman who kidnapped a 59-year-old villager who was collecting firewood and circumcised him against his will has been jailed for six years.

Masenyani Mandhalele, 29, and nine other Shangaan tribesmen kidnapped John Chakabaya and forced him through the surgical procedure in a makeshift clinic in Chilonga, Shurugwi.

Mandhalele was arrested in June after nearly two years on the run. The other nine suspects are still at large.

Mandhalele pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and indecent assault but was convicted by magistrate Tinashe Ndokera.

Ndokera said: "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 committed. Both offences were committed in deplorable ways," reported New Zimbabwe

The court heard how Mandhalele and his gang went into the bush where Chakabaya was collecting firewood during their annual circumcision festival.

When he realised who they were, he stopped his chores as a sign of respect for their traditions but despite this the group forced him to a  circumcision clinic for the procedure.

The court heard Chakabaya was left naked for 12 days as punishment for not being a member of the Shangani.

Chakabaya was forced to sit on a rock for two hours every day and was denied medication, decent food and shelter, the court heard.