By Columbus Mabika
The Zimbabwe National Army on Good Friday held a funeral parade at One Commando Barracks in Harare and bade farewell to two soldiers who died following violent clashes with machete-wielding artisanal miners at a bar at Chiwaridzo,Bindura, last week.
The two soldiers were part of the ZNA contingent that was carrying out ceremonial preparations for Independence Day celebrations displays.
Corporal Tawanda Gwarega (35) and Bombardier Shaw Tizora (33) were killed while another soldier, Bombardier Pumulani Khuumani (30) — who was in the company of the deceased — is recovering at Bindura Provincial Hospital after machete-wielding artisanal miners pounced on them following a dispute at Chiwaridzo.
Tizora was stabbed once in the back and once below his right eye, while Gwarega was stabbed once on the left side of the stomach, resulting in some of his intestines protruding and twice on the left hand.
Officiating at the funeral parade, Commander Artillery Brigade, Brigadier-General Sydney Singwizi, said it was shocking and disheartening to learn of the death of dedicated troops through acts of violence and terror.
“On behalf of the general officers, senior officers, officers, men and women of the ZNA in particular and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in general and on my own behalf, I would like to pay my deep condolences to the bereaved families and relatives,” he said.
“We do not condone this act of violence and terror being inflicted by machete-wielding artisanal miners, this is saddening and painful to all peace-loving Zimbabweans,”
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is continuing with investigations.
To date, two artisanal miners — Alexio Gumbato (36) and Job Chitsvimbo (age not given) — have appeared at the Bindura Magistrates’ Court on allegations of the murder and were remanded in custody to May 2.
For their loyalty and dedication to duty, Brig-Gen Singwizi said the two were awarded with the Independence Medal.
Tizora is survived by his wife, Yvonne Mutandi, and three children.
Gwarega is survived by his wife, Cleopatra Bvute, and three children. The Herald