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non-violent principles to achieve democracy
May 24, 2004
lawlessness continue unabated in Zimbabwe. Over the weekend a serious
assault took place on a ranch manager and some of his game scouts
in the Save Valley Conservancy. Anthony Bodington is the manager
of Masapas Ranch within the Conservancy. On Friday 21st May he and
six of his scouts were ambushed and attacked by an assorted group
of war vets, poachers and illegal squatters. Their assailants were
armed with knobkierries, assegais and machetes. They were abducted
and held overnight in the bush where they were severely tortured.
During the course of their ordeal they were subjected to gross verbal
and physical abuse. The physical abuse included severe beatings
with knobkerries which resulted in bruises, broken limbs and widespread
lacerations. A game scout was stabbed and Bodington, for whom the
assailants appear to have reserved the worst of their venom, was
at one time held down and made to endure the motions as if they
were going to cut off his arm.
were rescued from the gang of violent thugs early the following
morning by a ZRP support unit. All were in poor shape and they required
immediate medical attention. Bodington who was severely traumatized
was admitted to hospital in Triangle. Full medical details of the
injuries have been recorded and graphic photos reveal how savage
and prolonged was the attack.
The police took
down statements from those abused and have already made 33 arrests
in connection with the incident. It is understood that one of those
who led the attack, named Chirapa, was among those arrested. He
is already on a charge of assault with intent to cause gross bodily
harm in connection with an assault incident which occurred in 2002.
On that occasion it is believed he and a brother of the same name
led a group of more than 20 illegal squatters in a vicious attack
on another senior member of the team managing Masapas Ranch. That
case has inexplicably been postponed time and again.
of the police and arrest of some of the violent thugs responsible
is a welcome development, though time will tell if they are to be
prosecuted with the full force of the law. This aside, the continued
presence of armed gangs of violent thugs who can, at will, abduct
innocent citizens and carry out such murderous attacks upon them,
dispels once and for all the notion that the level of violence and
lawlessness is abating in Zimbabwe.
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