By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
A SEVEN-year-old Chinhoyi boy suffered permanent facial and bodily disabilities after being mauled by a neighbour’s vicious Pitbull Terrier dogs recently.
The ravening canines, whose ownership is not legally permissible in Zimbabwe, descended on Samuel Phineas as he played outside his grandfather’s house in Chinhoyi’s Mapako Suburb and meted so savage a biting his face was left totally deformed.
They are famed for their power and ability to take down their targets with a ferocity unmatched in the dog world.
His family is are now seeking compensation for the permanent disabilities he sustained in the attack.
The dogs’ owner is a commercial farmer, Samuel Mugari, who has reportedly failed or neglected to pay compensation for the pain and suffering of the minor following the savage canine attack.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Thursday, the victim’s father, Tendai Phineas alleged Mugari was being arrogant and has refused to pay mounting medical bills and compensation for his son.
“Following the dog attack on 17 June 2021, l contacted Mugari who was reportedly away at his farm. I then borrowed money and rushed my son to the hospital where he got medical attention,” he said.
“Upon his return days later, Mugari came and offered US$40 and $1 500 RTGS to cover medical bills and as an appeasement token,” said Phineas, who is unemployed.
This is despite that travel and medical bills had run into hundreds of US dollars, the distraught father said.
“Sam had a total of 22 stitches sewn on his body, including the face. He was jabbed three rabies injections which cost US$25 each coupled with costs of other medications which were prescribed by doctors which exceeded US$300.”
Phineas said Mugari later turned hostile and declined to cooperate in footing the medical bills the moment he learnt the matter had been reported to the police prior to his return from the farm.
Phineas added; “Mugari changed his attitude suddenly and turned hostile. He told me the police, where l had reported the matter, were going to pay for my son’s medical bills. He was boldly rude, unfeeling and this hurt me deeply.”
However, the wheels of justice are moving slowly since the gruesome attack which suspiciously has not seen the two menacing hybrid dogs being put down.
Phineas alleges the criminal case against Mugari has been mired in corruption as officials from the Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary department and Chinhoyi Municipality have visited Mugari’s house but have curiously not recommended that the dogs be killed before they cause further harm in the community.
Contacted by NewZimbabwe.com, Mugari claimed the police had gagged him from speaking with the press, and anyone seeking comment should approach the police district public relations officer.
“I am actually at Chinhoyi Central Police Station as we speak, and l am being advised not to speak with you. If you need further information, contact the police district public relations officer.”
However, efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless.
A medical affidavit dated 22 June 2021 compiled by Chiedza Mudzimu based at Chinhoyi Hospital where young Samuel underwent facial reconstruction reads said he sustained permanent injuries.
“During the course of my examination l ascertained and concluded that there were lacerations of the upper lip extending to the nose and forehead. Injuries inflicted were severe.
“(Patient sustained) permanent suture marks along the upper lip (which will cause) abnormal shape of the upper lip affecting the shape of the face and cause facial deformation.”
Sam now reportedly experiences severe headaches since the dog attack.
Meanwhile, in a bid to get help for his traumatised son, a Grade One pupil at Dolomite Primary School, Phineas has engaged non-governmental organisation Pamuhacha and the Social Welfare Department who have pledged legal, psycho-social, and humanitarian assistance.
Although the matter was reported to police last month under CR92/06/21 (RRB2893170), it is yet to be heard in court.