A LAND ownership wrangle pitting Minister of State Responsible for National Healing John Nkomo and Bulawayo businessman Langton Masunda turned nasty last Saturday when Masunda’s brother was shot five times by suspected war veterans reportedly employed by Nkomo.
The shooting incident occurred on Saturday night after Masunda arrived at the disputed Jijima Lodge, Matabeleland North, with his three brothers.
Masunda’s younger brother Patrick was allegedly shot after he left the room they were in and went outside the lodge to relieve himself.
He is recovering at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.
A group of 14 war veterans arrived at the lodge two days before the incident and camped in some of the chalets.
Police in Matabeleland North have arrested one of Nkomo’s workers on a charge of attempted murder over the shooting incident.
Masunda and Nkomo have been locked in a four-year land dispute that includes the ownership of the lodge on the boundary of their farms.
Last week, Masunda filed an urgent Supreme Court application seeking to bar Nkomo from interfering with activities at the lodge.
Masunda this week claimed to the Zimbabwe Independent that he was the target of “hired assassins” and said the shooting of his brother was a case of mistaken identity.
“These people wanted to kill me and since my brother has dreadlocks just like me they mistook him for me,” Masunda alleged. “This is a sad development because the matter is before the courts. We cannot have people taking the law into their own hands.”
Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, confirmed the incident and the arrest of one person over the shooting and said investigations were continuing.
“There was shooting at Jijima Lodge and we have arrested one person who is assisting police with investigations into the matter,” Bvudzijena said. “The shooting victim was initially admitted at St Luke’s Hospital, but has since been moved to a hospital in Bulawayo.”
Since the beginning of the land wrangle and before the weekend shooting, Nkomo has had six court judgements go against him.
Narrating events, Masunda said his brother was shot five times on the lower part of the body and by yesterday still had bullets lodged in him.Â Â
He said the first bullet hit him in the buttocks and when he fell the assailants continued firing at him while he was on the ground and shot him four times in the pelvic area.
“We then went out (of the room) after hearing the gunfire and Patrick’s screams for help and found him lying in a pool of blood. We dragged him to the car before speeding from the lodge and the assailants fired at us as we were driving out of the farm,” Masunda claimed.
BY LOUGHTY DUBE