Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) activist Charles Thomas, who is awaiting judgment in a treason case at the Bulawayo High Court, is appealing for $500 to undergo treatment for head injuries he claims he sustained during the Gukurahundi massacres after Independence.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Thomas, who is jointly charged with Paul Siwela and John Gazi, told NewsDay that he was assaulted by members of the Fifth Brigade in 1984 at the back of his head.
He said he has been experiencing persistent headaches since he was assaulted until doctors last year prescribed that he goes for a CT scan.
Thomas said the scar at the back of his head would at times gets itchy with blood oozing out of it, 29 years after the alleged assault.
“I could not go for the scan, but this year another doctor also recommended that I go for a CT scan, which costs $500,” he said.
“I used to be a cross-border trader but following my arrest, my passport was taken away and I need clearance from the provincial magistrate to move anywhere within the country.
“It is difficult therefore to raise the money under the circumstances. Just recently I had sought permission to travel to my rural home.
“I have tried the Department of Social Welfare, but was told that the government does not have facilities for a CT scan so I have to go to private institutions.”
Thomas said what made his condition worse was that he did not have a written medical history for the scar because victims of the 5th Brigade that allegedly was committing atrocities were not allowed to get medical attention.
“They (soldiers) took us from the Sibomvu area in Mzinyathini to Kezi and then Bhalagwe where we were assaulted with logs,” he said.
“I do not know what they hit me with on the head because I fell unconscious.
“I was assisted by a Dr (Deevee) Boyd from Mtshabezi Mission Hospital who was secretly treating Gukurahundi victims at a homestead in the area.”
He said doctors had told him that the persistent headache could be linked to the scar on the back of his head and the CT scan would help in identifying the real problem.
Thomas last year failed to raise $2 000 for bail in the treason trial and had to be rescued by the Welshman Ncube-led MDC who paid it for him.