Soldiers run amok in Mberengwa

A GROUP of soldiers allegedly assaulted an MDC-T official in Mberengwa South District on Saturday for wearing party regalia and declared that the area is a no- go area for the former opposition party.

NQOBANI NDLOVU

MDC-T youth assembly vice — secretary for Mberengwa South, Patrick Zhou was left nursing head and shoulder injuries on Saturday night at Mataga growth point after being beaten by soldiers.

The soldiers allegedly stripped Zhou of his MDC-T shirt and beret, before burning them saying that the regalia was alien to the area, which they declared a Zanu PF stronghold.  The matter was reported at Mataga Police Station (CRB number 1640948) and the soldiers were detained, although Zhou says they were released the following day.

“The soldiers met me in the evening near Mataga night club and started threatening that I would die if I continued walking around at the growth point wearing MDC-T regalia,” Zhou narrated.

“All hell broke loose when I told them that it is my right to wear my party regalia and they started beating me.”

Zhou said he reported the matter to Mataga Police Station with the help of the party’s Midlands South provincial secretary for defence, Trynos Shava, leading to the arrest of the soldiers.

Shava also confirmed Zhou’s assault by the soldiers, saying villagers live in fear of the army personnel who were deployed in Mataga for Operation Maguta early this year.

“These soldiers based at Mataga under Operation Maguta should leave,” he charged. “We are tired of their harassment.”

Midlands police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko professed ignorance of the case when contacted for comment yesterday.

“I do not have that case offhand,” he said, adding that he was out of office.
Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson, Major Alphios Makotore said he did not know about the case, but “if the matter has been reported to police, there is nothing we can do. Police have to deal with the matter.”

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