NINTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD Yonah Ncube, who served as a personal driver to the late nationalist, Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, is suing the State for injuries he sustained after being shot by a Fifth Brigade soldier during Gukurahundi in 1983.
Ncube, who was shot while at Nkomo’s home in Pelandaba suburb, Bulawayo, told CITE on Saturday that he had also referred the matter to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
“It was on March 5, 1983 when a soldier shot me point blank on the right side of my chest. I remember losing a lot of blood.
I want them to pay me for my blood. They can estimate the amount of blood I lost and calculate its cost.
I need closure, as I have been traumatised all my life since that day.
I was 55 then and ever since, I was unable to work,” he said.
“On March 5, 1983, we heard a helicopter flying above announcing that Bulawayo was surrounded and everyone was commanded to stay home.
I and other workers were at Nkomo’s house in Pelandaba in the afternoon when soldiers arrived with the Support Unit and searched the whole house.
Many more surrounded the house and we wondered what they wanted.
That afternoon, I sent my son to a neighbour’s house because I had an uneasy unfeeling,” Ncube added.
He said that evening, one soldier returned and found him by himself.
The soldier questioned him in Shona demanding to know where Nkomo was.
The soldier then commanded that the houses be searched.
During the search, the soldier shot Ncube on the right side of his chest and he collapsed.
Ncube was later taken to Mpilo Hospital, where he was admitted for two months under police guard.
After he was discharged, Ncube was taken to West Commonage Police Station, where he spent almost two months, but no docket was opened, neither was a statement or his fingerprints taken.
Ncube said it was difficult to heed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for reconciliation after government has refused to apologise for the atrocities.
Initially he was demanding US$,.9 million as reparations but his lawyers, Webb, Low and Barry, however, revised it down to
US$30 000, broken down as:
US$10 000 for loss of employment, US$20 000 for pain and suffering.