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Zanu-PF activists in court for destroying village head's home

A SUSPECTED Zanu-PF activist, who was part of a group that allegedly destroyed the homestead of village head, Ernest Nxumalo in Shangani's Fort Rixon area, has appeared in court facing charges for assaulting the traditional leader's 13-year-old nephew.

Bonani Mahlangu (39) denied the charge, when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Gladmore Mushove on Wednesday. He was remanded out of custody to September 18 for continuation of trial.

The court was told that on June 11 this year, a group of people, including Mahlangu destroyed Nxumalo's homestead at Ensangu village.

The complainant tried to run away as the bedroom hut, where he was hiding was being destroyed by the rampaging gang. He was struck twice with a stone on the head and fell unconscious and sustained a swollen head.

His grandfather rushed him to Mpilo Hospital and doctors said he had a fracture on the head.

In his statement to the police, the boy's grandfather, Nxumalo said on the day, a group of people stormed his home armed with stones, knobkerries, and axes. He said they destroyed his home.

Nxumalo said the group ordered family members out of the huts before destroying the home.

"My grandson, Panashe Neka got out of the room and ran away towards the eastern direction. Stanford Khoza came to me saying Panashe has been struck with a stone," he said.

In his defence, Mahlangu said on the day in question he had gone to look for firewood and did not go to Nxumalo's place.

"The complainant has concocted and fabricated his story. There is bad blood between the accused's family and the complainant's family," he submitted.

Mahlangu said he would call witnesses to corroborate his story.

Nxumalo, at the time of the incident, said a group of around 200 people led by known troublesome Zanu-PF activists in the area pounced on his home armed with axes, mattocks and other tools.

He said the assailants accused him of accommodating villagers, who returned from Nkayi and opposing party campaigns, which were disturbing classes at Insangu Primary School.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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