By Peter Bolder
Billy Rautenbach’s Green Fuel guards have attacked and seriously injured several villagers from Chisumbabnje in Manicaland, accusing them of stealing sugar cane.
Human rights defenders Platform for Youth Development condemned the Friday attack. Below is their full statement issued Wednesday.
“In an act of brazen disregard of the law and professionalism, Green
fuel security guards have assaulted Lucas Moyana and others over
allegations of stealing sugarcane on the 28th of August 2015.Lucas
Moyana (55) was severely beaten by security guards armed with sjamboks
and guns together with his family members who included a five year
The Green fuel security guards working closely with police officers
from Chisumbanje station descended on Lucas on the assumption that he
and others should tell them or admit to having stolen sugarcane from
the disputed land that was grabbed from the community by Green fuel.
Lucas Moyana feels aggrieved and dehumanized by this act of beating
him at 10pm in the night as if he was a criminal. Lucas just like many
villagers with homesteads close to the sugarcane fields were not asked
questions but just received beatings in an Ian Smith -policing style
aimed at forcing them to accept a crime they are pleading innocent.PYD
will file court papers in defence of Lucas Moyana and others who felt
their rights were violated.
Platform for Youth Development has been on record complaining about
these untrained guards and trigger happy police officers who have no
respect for human rights and professional contact. It is worrying that
the assault in question was done not only with the hand of police from
Chisumbanje station but also with instruction from Green fuel
Platform for Youth Development is concerned that the involvement of
Chisumbanje police is retrogression to the relations PYD is trying to
build between the villagers and the police.PYD is currently moderating
relations between police at Chisumbanje and villagers over the
increasing poor relations between the two parties. Police at
Chisumbanje are being accused by villagers of receiving bribes from
Green fuel to assist the latter from winning the boundary dispute by
hook and crook. The use of force to arrest an innocent civilian such
as in the case of Lucas Moyana is unwarranted and must be condemned in
the strongest terms.
PYD together with its strategic partner Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR) is currently pursuing various complaints presented by
the community and targeted at the police officers at Chisumbanje
station. Some of the cases received are at the advanced stage with
identified police officers being dragged to court for litigation by
the public for overzealous contact such as the one involving Lucas