Soldiers Open Fire At Villagers In Gweru Killing One Person
Six soldiers allegedly ran amock and opened live fire at four villagers in Gweru near Flamingo tollgate along Gweru-Shurugwi highway.
The villagers found themselves in a very precarious situation after they confronted the soldiers about why they were harassing people in that area.
The soldiers were reportedly infuriated by the villagers who to them were out of their depth, they then opened fire and killed one person (Tatenda Munetsiwa) while the other three (Munetsiwa Matambanadzo (42), Farai Vakirai (32), and Simoni Chitsinho (32)) sustained gunshot wounds.
The six soldiers have since been arrested and are facing murder and attempted murder charges.
The names of the six soldiers are:
Lance Corporal Fortune Mambure (30), Lieutenant Shaibu Ndara (24), Corporal Zinyanya Prince (32), Corporal Matenda Willard (31), Lance Corporal Walter Chidhakwa (33), and Lance Corporal Simbarashe Mashongahande (36).
The six who are stationed at 5.2 Infantry Battalion in Battlefields, were on duty deployed at Guinea Fowl, ZBC Mast.
Below are excerpts from police documents detailing how the unfortunate incident took place:
The accused persons went around beating people they met along their way accusing them of being copper thieves,.
The accused began assaulting Tatenda Munetsiwa and the complainants with iron bars, fists and booted feet and they tried to defend themselves resulting in accused one firing ten rounds towards them.
Fearing for their lives, complainants ran into the darkness but Tatenda Munetsiwa was shot on the hip and he fell down, started bleeding and died as a result of the gunshot.
Munetsiwa Matambanadzo was shot on the left thigh and Farai Vakirai was shot on the left side of the chest and Simoni Chitsinho was assaulted all over the body with iron bars, fists and booted feet.
The accused persons returned to their base and booked in their rifle now with 18 rounds at about 2220 hours.
The three complainants rushed to the Guinea Fowl army base and reported their case to the base commander Major Hlabiso thinking they had been attacked by robbers.
Major Hlabiso advised them to go and seek medical assistance at Gweru General Hospital. The complainants reported at ZRP Gweru rural.
Scene was attended by ZRP Gweru Rural, CID Scenes of Crime and CID Gweru. Body of Tatenda Munetsiwa was facing upwards, there was a small, punctured wound on the right side of the hip and a big opening wound on the left side of the hip.
There was blood on the right leg. Body was searched and nothing was recovered from it. Four empty cartridges were recovered near the body along Gweru-Shurugwi road.
Accused number 1 indicated where he had kept the rifle and it was recovered under his bed with a magazine of 18 rounds.
The accused were arrested and are currently detained at ZRP Gweru central, DB numbers 218-223/2021 refer.
The AK rifle and spent cartridges are yet to be sent to ballistics for examination.
The body was conveyed to Gweru General Hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem. Complainant 1 and 2 were admitted at Gweru General Hospital and their conditions are shot is serious. Complainant 3 was not referred to hospital. ZRP Gweru Rural CR 55-58/01/21 refer.