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Obvious Ncube (34) and Shalen Dumani (23) of Zuzaphi area attacked villagers who were at a business centre in protest over Shona-speaking people in the area.
They also damaged property at a local businessman’s shop after accusing him of employing a Shona person as his shopkeeper.
Disgruntled community members then stripped them naked, assaulted them and paraded them.
Ncube and Dumani were convicted of assault and malicious damage to property charges by Plumtree magistrate Mr Livard Philemon.
They were each sentenced to 15 months imprisonment of which three months were suspended for five years on condition that they do not within the period commit an offence of the same nature.
Three more months were further suspended on condition of restitution.
Speaking in court, Dennis Muvuri who is employed as a shopkeeper at Zuzaphi business centre said the pair arrived at the bottle store and demanded to know why there were Shona people in the community.
“They picked up stones and they started to beat up people who were in the bottle store who comprised teachers and community members, accusing them of being Shona.
“They also damaged property that was in the bottle store Your Worship and demanded all Shona people to leave the community,” he said.
When both men appeared before the court on initial remand recently they revealed that villagers first removed their clothes and left them in their underwear and went on to assault them.
They said they were then force marched around the community with villagers ordering them to apologise for being a menace.
Prosecuting, Mr Clemence Shawarira said Dumani and Ncube assaulted Never Sibanda (58) on 5 June at around 8pm after they found him seated with Shona-speaking people.
He said they went on to smash empty beer bottles against the wall.
Mr Shawarira said Sibanda told the two men to mind their own business and this did not go down well with them.
“Dumani and Ncube started throwing empty beer bottles around the bottle store and they were reprimanded by the owner of the bottle store.
“In a bid to avoid further confrontations the complainant left the bottle store to collect his bicycle,” said Mr Shawarira.
He said Dumani and Ncube ambushed Sibanda and they struck him several times with a log on his head and body.
He said the complainant sustained a fractured arm and severe injuries on his body as a result of the attack.
Mr Shawarira said Dumani and Ncube fled from the scene but they were later arrested.
He said the value of damaged property at the shop is $600.
The pair destroyed 48 beer bottles, a zinc roller door, 16 plastic chairs and two empty crates. Source: sundaynews by Sukulwenkosi Dube