A security guard at businessman and Zanu PF legislator, Philip Chiyangwa’s Old Citrus farm near Chinhoyi was last week bludgeoned to death by illegal settlers who were allegedly sponsored to invade the highly contested property by other ruling party bigwigs.
Chiyangwa, the former Zimbabwe Football Association president, won a court battle against more than 200 settlers who had invaded his farm.
Lloyd Bahera, managing director for National Eye Security, a company contracted to guard the farm by Chiyangwa, said the late Charles Cherachera together with other guards were approached by more than 200 settlers evicted from Citrus Farm who were singing and chanting slogans.
Bahera said the guards shot three warning shots into the air, but the settlers continued to advance and they disarmed Cherachera before severely beating him.
Cherachera was taken to Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital where he was admitted before succumbing to the wounds yesterday morning.
“We have been greatly affected and devastated by the death of one of our guards. What made this painful is that we could have easily fired shots at the crowd, but our guards chose to be lenient. They disarmed our guards and attacked them,” said Bahera.
Asked for comment yesterday, Chiyangwa accused his political opponents for trying to remove him from his farm by sponsoring violence. He singled out a Zanu PF central committee member and an aspiring MP for Chinhoyi as responsible for the chaos.
“These are the works of my political enemies. They are sponsoring thugs to destabilise my farming activities,” fumed Chiyangwa.
The politician also attacked the judiciary system, questioning why the accused in the case was quick to be granted bail.
“Allowing illegal settlers to invade farms is bad, more so, when a magistrate releases on bail an accused facing attempted murder charges while the victim was battling for life in hospital” said Chiyangwa.
Chiyangwa won a court battle a fortnight ago to evict Patrick Mafusire and other settlers numbering more than 200 from the 3 447-hectare Citrus Farm. But the settlers are arguing that the farm belongs to Chinhoyi Town Council and have since appealed against the judgement at the High Court.
— The Standard