The two, who were on Friday admitted to Parirenyatwa Hospital, said they were accosted by two police officers as they walked along a road adjacent to Mugabe’s farm and accused of planning to steal the president’s diesel.
They were actually going to fetch water with jerry cans because of a critical water shortage in Banket.Â
One Inspector Mupambi, of the police’s intelligence arm, PISI, led the attack.
Showing deep soft tissue bruising on their buttocks and soles of their feet, the youths (who requested anonymity fearing a backlash) told The Zimbabwean that, despite pleading their innocence and showing the officers their empty jerry cans, they were handcuffed and frog marched to Banket, almost five kms away.
Mupambi would drive his car for 500m, stop and beat us up with baton sticks on our buttocks and soles of our feet, said one of the tearful youths. He was beating us up holding the baton stick with both hands to ensure maximum impact.
The youths were taken to Banket Police Station were they were detained before they were released without charge.
Banket police declined to comment, saying they were under strict instructions not to talk to the media. They referred all questions to senior police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena, who was not immediately available for comment.
A spokesman for Mugabe’s family, Lawrence Kamwi, was also unavailable for comment.
Mugabe’s Gushungo Farm, which is currently under a thriving potato crop, was originally owned by leading white commercial farmer Clive Nicolle, together with the adjacent farm given to High Court judge, Justice Ben Hlatshwayo. The farm was grabbed from Nicolle and then put under the ARDA scheme, but has now been transferred to Mugabe.Â
The Zimbabwean could not independently verify the reports that daring thieves had recently stolen Mugabe’s fuel and potatoes, and that guards at the farm were terrorizing villagers.
Cops Thrash Youths at Mugabe's Farm
HARARE - Two youths were brutalized by guards at President Robert Mugabe's Gushungo Farm in Banket on Tuesday, sustaining severe injuries.