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ZNA clears air on Chipinge incident

by Staff reporter
12 Mar 2021 at 05:57hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has dismissed a report by a non-governmental organisation, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) alleging the army concealed evidence that its troops deployed in Chipinge assaulted a civilian to death.

In a statement yesterday, ZNA director public relations Colonel Alphios Makotore said ZPP was continuing to publish false allegations against the ZNA without verifying facts with relevant authorities.

"Reference is hereby made to the Zimbabwe Peace Project Monthly Monitoring Report of February 2021 which alleges that Zimbabwe National Army troops deployed in Chipinge assaulted a civilian to death and the details of the killing were kept under wraps," said Col Makotore.

"The ZNA never concealed the incident nor kept the details under wraps as alleged in the ZPP report. In actual fact, the army facilitated investigations which led to the arrest of the alleged suspects. ZPP continues to publish unsubstantiated allegations without verifying with relevant authorities."

Col Makotore said February 26 at around 10pm in Masotsha village under Chief Gwenzi, ZNA members deployed on border control operations received information from a civilian that someone had been stabbed and held hostage and was denied access to medical assistance.

"Two ZNA members proceeded to the scene of the reported incident. On arrival at Musirizvi Irrigation Scheme farm, they were attacked with machetes by the now deceased, Gift Mahembe and his cousin Sifelani Mtisi, after a misunderstanding arose when the two ZNA members were trying to effect an arrest.

"Sifelani Mtisi struck Corporal Terrance Kagogoda on the right shoulder using a machete. Corporal Kagogoda sustained a deep cut on the shoulder. Mahembe and Mtisi then fled from the scene," he said.

"A soldier, Private Dube assisted by seven civilians, chased after the fleeing assailants and caught up with them."

The assailants were allegedly assaulted by the mob before being taken to the local police base from where they were referred to Mt Selinda Mission Hospital for treatment.

Col Makotore said the alleged murder case was reported at ZRP Chipinge Rural by ZNA officials, leading to the arrest of six people. All the accused appeared before the Chipinge Magistrates Court on March 2 and were remanded in custody to March 16.

On an unrelated issue, Col Makotore said the ZNA takes serious exception to cases where some sections of the media continue to peddle falsehoods against the organisation.

"With reference to the Beitbridge story which was published by NewsDay on 1 February 2021, wherein it is alleged that Army Commandos beat up police officers, the newspaper story was a complete fabrication," he said.

"Members of the army and police were carrying out joint operations together with personnel from ZIMRA and the Immigration Department. As clearly pointed out by the Officer Commanding Beitbridge Police District, no such incident ever occurred."

Source - the herald

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