Crime and Courts

Miner loses 19 teeth in hørror machete att@ck

TWO viølent illegal miners have appeared in court for allegedly att@cking a mine owner in Fort Rixon in Matabeleland South Province and allegedly cutting off his leg with a machete before stealing US$3 500 from him.

The ass@ult by the illegal miners also resulted in the miner losing 19 teeth.

This came to light when Sibanengi Ncube (21) and Julius Maromo (40) appeared before Bulawayo Regional Magistrate, Dambudzo Malunga facing attempted m_rder charges.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge and were remanded in custody to 22 April for continuation of trial.

In his defence, Maromo denied ever att@cking the miner, Listen Rusimba.

He said on the day in question he met Rusimba at the shops and he asked to have a conversation with him and they went outside.

He said Rusimba ins_lted him and after that an argument broke out.

Maromo said after that Rusimba took his gun from his jacket’s pocket and fired three shots into the air.

He said he screamed for help drawing the attention of other illegal miners. Maromo stated that he was unable to identify the assailants who could have severely att@cked him and chopped off his leg with a machete.

In his defence, Ncube corroborated Maromo’s testimony and denied any involvement in the ass@ult on Rusimba.

Limping towards the stand with the aid of crutches, Maromo narrated the harrowing ordeal.

“Ncube and Maromo are illegal miners and during their spare time they used to sell game meat. I bought US$10 worth of meat on credit.

“Later that day, they met my son at the shops. It just so happened that my son had received change from his purchase. After my son left, the two men approached the shop assistant and lied, claiming I had sent them to collect the money left by my son. They were then given the money.

“After two days, I ran into them at the shops and asked them why they took money from the shopkeeper. They reacted vi⁰lently, dragging me outside to a secluded area. There, they punched and kicked me, knocking out 19 teeth.

“In an attempt to scare them off, I fired a shot into the air. However, they struck me severely on the head with a knobkerrie, leaving me with depression and a stomach tumour.

“As I lay in excruciating pain, they went a step further, they chopped off my leg with a machete.

“To add to the horror, they then set dogs on me. While I was helpless, the dogs ripped off a part of my remaining leg and others licked the blood from the wound.”

Maromo said he screamed for help, but in response, they stuffed his mouth with rubble and shoved it further into his stomach, attempting to silence and k!ll him.

The court heard that neighbours, fearing the well-known vi@lence of the pair, did not intervene.

Rusimba said they searched him and took US$3 500 that he intended to use to buy mining equipment.

Rusimba further testified that while hospitalised, the pair raided his home, castrating all his bulls and stealing fencing materials and tyres.

He said his children fled from his home as they feared for their lives and they were now staying in Masvingo.

In a victim impact statement Rusimba further said: “I’m traumatised.

As a miner, I’m rendered incapable of working due to the pain and my limited mobility. Time to time I feel intense pain in my chest.

“I’ve already undergone multiple surgeries to remove a tumour in my chest. This ordeal has also deeply affected my family. Fearing for their safety, they’ve fled our home and are now living in Masvingo.

“The att@ck has also cast a shadow of fear over the community. People are afraid to associate with me, worried about retaliation from Maromo and Ncube.

“Even those who witnessed the incident are too scared to come forward as witnesses, as they are afraid to be attacked or k!lled.”

State media

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