By Belinda Moyo
An ex-farm worker is demanding $6 000 as compensation for health damages from his former employer whom he alleges organised that dog medicine be administered on him and other workers, a situation that has resulted in his teeth rotting and falling off while his arm is now paralysed and body itchy all the time.
Mr Hloniphani Sibanda has filed papers at the Bulawayo Civil Court demanding $6 000 from his former employer, Ian Mackenzie of Willsgrove Farm in Esigodini for deliberately treating him and fellow workers with blue spray medicine which is allegedly intended for dogs and stallions.
Mr Sibanda revealed to Sunday News that in February 2014 after they were involved in an accident on their way from work at Willsgrove Farm, Mackenzie took them for medication to his private “dog” doctor in Waterford where they were given blue spray medicine to wash their injuries and drink some and they were advised not to disclose the issue if they wanted to keep their jobs.
“We were involved in a car accident on our way from work and our boss Mr Mackenzie took us to his private dog doctor in Waterford.
“Only three of us out of eight had severe injuries, so we were given this dog medicine called blue spray and we were told to spray our wounds and drink some. He advised us not to report the matter because if we did we will lose our jobs,” he said.
According to Mr Sibanda the medicine healed their deep wounds within three days but affected his health. This prompted him to break the oath of silence and report the matter to the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) in 2015.
“The medicine thoroughly healed our wounds within three days but it affected my health. My left hand is paralysed and my whole body sometimes itches and I will scratch like a mad man and every time I eat I will throw up. My teeth started to rot and so I reported the matter to Nssa in 2015, that is when I was fired,” he said.
Mr Sibanda told Sunday News that the accident was not reported to the police and that no one gave a police statement on what transpired as they were all threatened with job losses.
He said he reported the issue to National Employee Council (NEC) and Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) , but it has not helped much.
“The accident was not reported to the police, no one gave the police a statement as far as I know. I reported the matter to NEC and ZFTU and I have taken the case to court but Mr Mackenzie has been dodging court since October 2017. What I want is the compensation since my arm has become paralysed and I can no longer work for my family because he decided to be inhuman and took us to a dog doctor where we were treated with dog medicine,” he said.
He said his former boss feared that if they were treated at a hospital the doctors were going to demand accident reports before they could be treated.The Sunday News