GWERU– Six Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) serviceman allegedly shot four civilians killing one and injured three for reportedly confronting them on why they were terrorising villagers near Flamingo tollgate along Gweru-Shurugwi road recently.
The six are currently detained at Gweru Central and are facing murder, attempted murder and assault charges.
The six are Lance Corporal Fortune Mambure (30), Lietenant Shaibu Ndara (24), Corporal Zinyanya Prince (32), Corporal Matenda Willard (31), Lance Corporal Walter Chikwada (33) and Lance Corporal Simbarashe Mashongahande (36).
The accused persons, all members of the Zimbabwe National Army stationed at 5.2 Infantry battalion, Battlefields, had been deployed to Guinea Fowl, ZBC Mast on guard duties.
The deceased has been identified as Tatenda Munetsiwa while complainants in the case are Munetsiwa Matambanadzo (42), Farai Vakirai (32) Simon Chitsinho (32).
A police memorandum in possession of CommuTalk, reveals that the six accused persons booked an AK rifle with a serial number 60253 armed with a magazine of 28 rounds as they went to patrol targeting copper cables thieves.
On their patrol the accused persons supposedly went around beating people they met along the way accusing them to be copper cable thieves.
The now deceased and the complainants were reportedly on a birthday party in the village responded to reports of people being beaten by the soldiers resulting in the fatality and recorded injuries.
“The accused began assaulting the now deceased and the complainants with iron bars, fists and booted feet. The now deceased and the complainants tried to defend themselves resulting in one of the accused firing ten rounds towards them.
“Fearing for their lives, complainants ran into the darkness but the now deceased was shot on the hip. After firing at them, the accused persons returned to their base and booked in their rifle now with 18 rounds…,” reads the police memo.
Investigations done by the police so far report that the accused persons had booked the gun but had not informed their superiors about the shooting.
The accused persons are also not denying having opened fire but are saying they acted in ‘self-defence’.
The complainants are currently admitted at Gweru General Hospital and condition of the other two is said to be serious.