Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
A SHURUGWI-based artisanal miner had his left leg amputated after rivals brutally axed him in a suspected love triangle.
Mr Simon Vingirayi- a court heard- lost consciousness as blood gushed from his left knee after his assailant axed him on a large vein and doctors had to amputate the leg above the knee to save his life.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Brian Paketh from Gweru Provincial Hospital told the court that Mr Vingirayi, was dying slowly as he was losing 20 percent of his blood per hour.
This was heard during the appearance of three artisanal miners who include two brothers from Shurugwi, Charles (29) and Philbert Chingwaya (22) and Tafadzwa Rundora (31) before Gweru Regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa. They are facing a count each of attempted murder.
The trio pleaded not guilty.
In his evidence- in -chief, Dr Paketh said the accused persons intended to “kill” the patient (Vingirayi) slowly.
“An attack on the knee will kill you but you will die slower than an attack on the neck. I’m trained to safeguard life. An attack is not measured and we as human beings are not designed to receive attacks. They intended to kill the patient slowly. If you are attacked like that on the knee, you will bleed until you get to zero then you die,” he said.
Dr Paketh said they were forced to amputate the leg to save Vingirayi’s life.
“We had to amputate his left limb and now he has a permanent disability. His injury was a danger to his life, hence surgical amputation had to be done to save him from excessive bleeding that was putting his life at great risk. When Simon Vingirayi came to Gweru Provincial Hospital, he had lost more than 50 percent of blood that was gushing from two deep cuts on the left knee,” he said.
Charles, under cross examination had the court in stitches when he said, “Dr I just injured him, I didn’t amputate his leg. It was you.”
In response, Dr Paketh said, “What we did was a formalisation of the amputation of the leg which was already dysfunctional.”
Dr Paketh said they had to repair the bleeding vessels which were deep adding that the injury was too extensive.
“So, we put him in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) because we were losing his life. His life was in danger and we then had to amputate above bleeding vessels and we closed up the vessels just above the injured side. The rest of the injuries, we repaired them successfully. We surgically removed an already dysfunctional leg. The injuries were consistent with a sharp object. Any attack of the body is risky to life.”
It is the State case as presented by Mr Talent Tadenyika that on May 20 last year at around 8PM and at Chief Ndanga bar, Adare Farm, Shurugwi, Vingirayi was playing a pool game with one Timothy Changunduma.
Vingirayi went outside the bar together with Changunduma and stood near a braai stand where they were having a conversation.
The court heard that Charles, Philbert and Rundora arrived in a Toyota Noah vehicle.
Charles who was driving the vehicle allegedly remained behind while Philbert and Rundora disembarked.
The court heard that Charles charged towards Vingirayi holding a big axe.
Charles allegedly told Vingirayi he wanted to kill him because he was having an extra marital affair with his wife.
Charles allegedly felled Vingirayi with a blow to the head using the axe handle.
He allegedly axed Vingirayi on the left knee three times.
Philbert and Rundora, the court heard, allegedly stabbed Vingirayi on the head with a knife while Charles continued axing the left leg.
Vingirayi, the court heard, became unconscious and only regained consciousness after he had been admitted to Gweru Provincial Hospital where his leg was amputated.
The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the two brothers and their friend.