By Cephas Shava
MWENEZI – Eight men who are employed as game scouts at controversial businessmen Billy Rautenbach’s Zimbabwe Bio Energy (ZBE) recently left a Mwenezi villager hospitalised and nursing some gruesome scars after they severely assaulted him, some of them using gun butts.
The victim, James Sibanda of Village 16 Edenvale under Chief Chitanga recently appeared at the Mwenezi Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to a charge of cutting a piece of flesh off a giraffe which he had found dead in the ZBE conservancy.
After noticing that Sibanda was visibly in unbearable pain during trial magistrate Honest Musiiwa strongly condemned the actions of Sibanda’s assailants before advising him to file a police report. For his own offence, Sibanda was fined $50 or alternatively to spend 10 days behind bars.
Speaking to TellZim News after his court hearing, Sibanda said he entered the ZBE conservancy with the intention of fetching some water. He said while on his way to the water point, he noticed a dead giraffe and decided to take a piece of meat from its carcass.
“When I was still at the scene, eight of Rautenbach’s guards arrived and they began to assault me all over the body. Some of them were even using gun butts, booted feet and fists. They inflicted scars all over my body including on my head.
I was admitted at Neshuro District Hospital and the doctor advised me to come back to receive further treatment. I am feeling the pain all over the body. I am also enduring sleepless nights owing to severe pain in my ribs,” Sibanda said.
Rautenbach’s guards are accused of acting with impunity, instigating some of the worst human rights violation against villagers.
Section 53 of the country’s constitution says no person should be subjected to any form of torture and degrading punishment.
Of late, several cases of brutality implicating Rautenbach’s ZBE guards’ have been reported but no arrest were made despite victims being able to clearly identify the perpetrators.