A MUTARE businessman and his colleague survived death by a whisker after angry villagers in Chitakatira village under Chief Zimunya detained and later severely assaulted them on accusations they were masterminding ritual murders that have dogged the community in recent weeks.
Gift Mukaronda was at pains to explain the horror he experienced at the hands of the furious villagers.
“I had accompanied my colleague to Chitakatira Growth Point to look for a premise to either buy or rent for a business project and while we were parked by one of the shops, a group of people came to our car saying that they were looking for someone in the car,” he said.
“In no time the numbers swelled and they started shouting saying they were looking for a certain woman called Sharon. Suddenly, they began assaulting us.”
Mukaronda and his colleague were only whisked to safety by a Good Samaritan with the assistance of the police. When The Weekender arrived at the scene more than 200 villagers had circled Mukaronda’s Mercedes Benz demanding to see the woman who was in the car.
The businessman and his colleague produced their identity documents but that did not stop the irate villagers from giving them a thorough hiding.
Police officers who tried to calm down the situation were overpowered and the crowd started to smash up the vehicle.
They deflated all the tyres, smashed the wind and the back screens.
A villager who tried to defend the businessman and his colleague, Wellington Muzarewetu, was hit with a knobkerrie by a fellow villager.
He lost consciousness and was only resuscitated moments later via first aid.
A police officer, Constable Chibvura, was also assaulted in the ensuing melee.
A witness to the whole saga, Wellington Muzarewetu said: “We interviewed the businessman and his colleague with the assistance of the police and we discovered that they meant no harm to anyone.
“When we gave feedback to fellow villagers about our findings that’s when all hell broke loose. They started attacking me claiming that I had been bribed.”
Village Head Taurai Nehwangura had no kind words for his subjects who took the law into their own hands.
“I heard about this disturbance and I want to tell you that I do not condone such rowdy behaviour especially against visitors in my village. If people have issues they must follow proper channels and not take the law into their own hands. They could have killed people for no reason.”