Armed soldiers terrorise villagers in the Midlands

Armed Zimbabwe soldiers

By Tererai Karimakwenda
16 January 2013

Armed soldiers who were deployed to various parts of the Midlands province in December, to distribute food under a ZANU PF scheme, have been accused of terrorizing villagers in the areas where they are camping.

Reports vary from assaults to threats, robbery, unofficial curfews and late-night home visits by uniformed soldiers with AK 47 rifles.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme spoke to trusted sources who said the soldiers are restricting people’s movements in many areas and using logs to assault those without a good reason for being outside at night.

In one incident, a security guard named Tavonga Ndlela was hospitalized for three days following an attack by soldiers on Christmas Eve. Ndlela was guarding three premises at Musume when the soldiers arrived in a taxi that they refused to pay for. They then assaulted Ndlela with a log saying: “Urikufambirei husiku”, meaning why are you walking at night.

Eight other people at the location were assaulted by the soldiers, who accused them of having no identification cards at night.

In another incident, the MDC-T Secretary for Defence in the Midlands South, Trynos Shava, was attacked by soldiers last week after being accused of breaking a curfew at night. Shava had gone to Mataga to visit his family but ended up hiding in a tree. He later fled to the mountains nearby.

Saungweme said that armed soldiers in Gokwe North, near Nembudziyah, have been giving out bags of rice from China since December. But the rice comes with the familiar threat to “vote for ZANU PF if you take this food or else”.

According to Saungweme, the most recent distribution of the rice took place last Thursday at a place called Nyatso. Armed soldiers accompanied by ZANU PF councilors threatened recipients, saying: “Kana madya chikafu chedu moziva pekuvota,” and “Voterai ZANU PF kuti chikafu chirambe chichiuya”.

This means “know who to vote for if you eat our food” and “vote for ZANU PF if you want to keep receiving food”.

Last week the rice from China was also distributed at Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots at Mutora, Chinyenyetu, Mushamba and paChoda. Villagers said threats were made by ZANU PF councilors who were present at each location.

Saungweme said the situation in the Midlands has intensified since December last year, as more soldiers were recruited to distribute the maize under Robert Mugabe’s presidential inputs scheme.

5 Responsesto “Armed soldiers terrorise villagers in the Midlands”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The food is not for ZANU(PF) , it is for all Zimbabweans. Take, eat and vote for MDC(T) chete. Siyanai nepfungwa dzemadinga ayo.

  2. GBZ says:

    Look at these big brave men, WOW arent they so courageous and bold standing tall with their loaded guns intmidating their own unarmed countrymen, women and children who only want peace and tranquility, but will get shot for voting for it. Hey morons we have got one who will join you, if you give him a big old gun he will shoot and kill anyone you want him to, his name is chimpy and he is a regular brave puke just like you. You bunch of demonic satanic losers, your time is coming and you will know what it feels like to have an empty stomach and an AK47 in your face,you are the SCUM OF THE EARTH.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Of course, this is cheap propaganda by the ill-learned journalist, Tererai Karimakwenda. Our soldiers are professional people and as such do not behave like that. Zimbabwean soldiers are highly trained and respected on the African continent and the world at large. It is no wonder they have been asked by the United Nations to serve in some of the trouble-spots of the world. They have created a name for themselves and no amount of propaganda by Tererai Karimakwenda, a nonentity in the world of journalism will deprive them of the honor and respect they have already earned for themselves.

  3. Tanyanyiwa says:

    This is done with people how have shallow mind.The president never instructed them to intimidate beneficials, but i would want to believe that ,they’re doing it on their own personal capacity to get support. It is really stupid and unacceptable to treat others like second class citizens. They should keep the rice for themselves if they think, rice is worth than human life.

  4. Common Sense says:

    Hey Bob, if you are so popular, and the revolutionary and the peoples choice etc., why do you have to get your army moron’s to do this type of thing?

    Answer, because you are not popular, and you are not the people’s choice. The only people that will vote for you are those that are scared of losing their farms you gave them to do their illegal acts on your behalf, and the army generals etc. who have raped this land of it’s resources. You are still trying to keep a (communist) one party state, but this time you will fail deluxe, the PEOPLE have had enough

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