15 soldiers run riot on Mbare family
Two people were hospitalised, while another one is unaccounted for, after a group of 15 soldiers besieged a Mbare family and assaulted residents to revenge the attack of their colleague on Sunday.
Two soldiers believed to be part of the gang were in custody at Stodart Police Station on Tuesday after being arrested as police made follow-ups to the reports. Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau confirmed the arrest of the two yesterday, adding they were helping police with investigations.
“I can confirm receiving the report and we have arrested the two (soldiers) who are assisting with investigations,” he said. Zimbabwe Defence Forces director of public relations Lieutenant Colonel Overson Mugwisi, last night said he was yet to receive the report. “I think it will be appropriate to comment after getting full details of what really transpired,” he said.
However, residents interviewed yesterday said a soldier who stays at a Mbare flat had an argument with a 17-year-old schoolboy leading to a fight. “They fought on Sunday and he mobilised some people and the soldier and his colleagues ganged up and started looking for the teenager,” a woman from the area said.
Other residents said the soldier, who was still on the run, on two occasions visited the house looking for his assailant. “He came with five of his colleagues on Sunday but the boy had disappeared. Yesterday (Monday) he came again with about five men but they were not in uniform.
“We believe he went back to his workplace in Inkomo and mobilised his colleagues and they came back. The 15 soldiers in full military regalia started assaulting all the men at the house accusing them of hiding the assailant,” a neighbour said. He said some women who were spared of the assault rushed to the police who reacted quickly and arrested the two soldiers, while their colleagues disappeared.
However, sources close to the investigations said the soldier had an altercation with a group of youths in the area. “The soldier teamed up with his brother and other friends but they failed to find the alleged assailants. The same team went again on Monday, but failed to find anyone,” said the source.
It is alleged the soldier went and teamed up with his workmates but still failed to find the men. “After failing to locate them, the soldiers started beating up residents accusing them of habouring the alleged assailants but the police reacted swiftly arresting two soldiers, while others managed to escaped,” the source said.
Three men were seriously injured in the assault. Two of the men were taken to Harare Central Hospital, while the third victim was not accounted for by last night. Police sources said they had since opened dockets and the soldiers would appear in court today.