17-year-old boy stoned, nearly loses ear in fight over Rizla rolling paper

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A heated dispute over Rizla rolling paper took a violent turn in Bulawayo’s Makokoba suburb, leaving a 17-year-old boy injured and the accused facing assault charges.

The incident unfolded when the victim refused to lend the product to a regular customer, resulting in a physical altercation.The accused, whose identity remains undisclosed for ethical reasons, appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Maxwell Ncube, where he faced two counts of assault. During the hearing, he was remanded out of custody until February 19 and was not required to enter a plea.

According to the allegations, on January 28, 2024, the victim encountered the accused, who expressed a desire to borrow some Rizla rolling paper. However, the victim declined the request, which seemingly sparked the ensuing confrontation.

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Later that evening, at approximately 8 PM, the accused, accompanied by his friends, crossed paths with the victim near some shops in Makokoba. In an attempt to impede the victim’s progress, the accused’s friends blocked his way, allowing the suspect to approach him while brandishing a stone. The accused proceeded to assault the complainant, striking him on the right ear with the stone.

Although the victim managed to break away from the altercation, the accused hurled another stone, hitting the victim on the right side of his stomach. The violent encounter left the victim with an ear laceration and a bruise on his abdomen.

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The following day, around 3 PM, the accused encountered Blessing Muzindo, who was en route to his uncle’s residence to visit his nephew, the previous victim of the juvenile’s assault. In a continuation of the aggressive behavior, the accused threw a stone at Muzindo, narrowly missing his intended target. Undeterred, the accused closed the distance between them.

In a shocking turn of events, the suspect wielded an okapi knife and stabbed Muzindo once on the right side of his chest, resulting in a deep laceration. The severity of the injury further emphasized the escalating violence present in the dispute.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the community reflects on the disturbing incident and its implications. The case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of peaceful conflict resolution and the need to address underlying issues that may lead to such confrontations.

The accused now awaits further legal proceedings, while the victims recover from their injuries. The ripple effects of this altercation resonate within the community, prompting discussions on the significance of maintaining a peaceful and respectful environment.

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