‘Masterblaster’ in agony

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August 30 is a day former boxing champion Farai “Masterblaster” Kachigwada would want to quickly erase from his memory as he almost lost his life after being assaulted by alleged rogue soldiers at his home in Mbare.

The 38-year-old pugilist, who is still recovering from injuries on his right leg and left arm, was assaulted with clenched fists, sticks and booted legs by suspected rogue soldiers. Kachigwada had been accused of harbouring his younger brother Blessing who had allegedly had a misunderstanding with one of the soldiers.

“It was a nasty incident, my brother, and I am just happy that I managed to come out of the situation alive. As you can see, some of the wounds are now healing,” said Kachigwada while showing the NewsDay crew healing wounds on his leg and another on his left arm.

“I had some X-rays and I have also been taking medication, but I now feel much better and I can manage to go to work.”

Kachigwada, who works at a local security firm, was taking a rest at his late father’s house where he now resides with his family.

“My younger brother Blessing and his colleagues had a misunderstanding with one soldier who at that time was wearing civilian clothes. The situation turned into a fight.

“The aggrieved solider returned with his colleagues demanding that we take them to where my younger brother was, but we also didn’t know where he had gone.

“I advised them to report the matter to the police and that’s when they started beating me, but I never retaliated against them. At one time I lost consciousness and was thrown into raw sewage until the police intervened after a tip-off,” he said.

Kachigwada has an impressive record of 27 wins (20 by knockouts) and 10 defeats in 37 bouts in his 15-year career since turning professional as a 23-year-old in 1996.

He hails from a family of boxers where his younger brothers Livingstone and Blessing and his sister Patience are all familiar names in local boxing circles.

However, the Masterblaster, as he is affectionately referred to by his fans, said injuries he sustained would make it difficult for him to make a comeback.

Kachigwada had some plans to return as he was scheduled to travel to compete in Namibia, which would have been his first bout since being knocked out by Charles Manyuchi in a light-middleweight bout at Mbare Netball Complex in July last year.

“I have not fought since July last year and there were plans for me to travel to Namibia, but after what happened, it’s no longer going to be possible. I don’t think I will ever fully recover to be able to get back into the ring, but I will always be there to help my siblings from a coaching perspective,” said Kachigwada.

The police confirmed that they were still searching for the estimated 12 soldiers who allegedly caused mayhem at Kachigwada’s residence in Mbare.

Harare provincial spokesperson Inspector James Sabau told NewsDay recently that no further arrests had been made.

“We are still searching for the other alleged culprits as it is said there were more than the two who were picked up on Tuesday (August 30),” said Sabau.

The two soldiers were arrested after allegedly assaulting residents in the suburb.

Police were tipped off about the mayhem and pounced on the rogue soldiers, arresting two of them who are still in custody, but are as yet to appear in court.