A suspected thief in Chipinge who was caught loitering in a macadamia nuts plantation was heavily beaten before he was tied to a tree the whole night by security guards.
Police have since arrested 22 year old Moses Dhlakama, Karakadzai Dhlakama, 26, and Labson Sibambe,41, for severely assaulting Munyaradzi Mapokodo, 29, before tying him to tree the whole night.
The trio, who are employed as security guards at Morganson farm, appeared before local magistrate Noah Gwatidzo facing assault and kidnapping charges.
The three pleaded guilty to the charges and were slapped with a wholly suspended three months jail term each.
Gwatidzo, however, could not let the three go un-punished and sentenced them to perform 368 hours of community service each at a local government hospital.
Asked why they tied Mapokodo to a tree the whole night instead of handing him over to the police, the three insisted that they caught him stealing the nuts.
They said they committed the crime not out of intention but out of mere ignorance.
“We actually caught him stealing macadamia nuts and then assaulted him out of ignorance,” said Sibambe while pleading for mercy.
“We left him in the hands of other guards when we went home and we are not responsible for tying him the whole night to the tree,” he said.
But Gwatidzo said the three should not have taken law into their own hands but instead should have handed over the suspect to the cops for investigations.
Public Prosecutor, Themba Dhliwayo told the court that the three security guards were on a night duty patrol when they saw Mapokodo loitering in the farm.
They arrested him and assaulted him with whips, open hands and booted feet all over the body.
However, Mapokodo maintained his innocence but the guards would not take any of it.
They tied him to a tree near a farm shade where they spent the whole night interrogating him.
Mapokodo sustained injuries on his buttocks, under the feet and on the hands as a result of the assault.
A medical report was produced in court as exhibit.