Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Soldiers go on rampage in Chipinge East

Soldiers go on rampage in Chipinge East

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 November 2010

Heavily armed soldiers wearing military fatigues on Wednesday launched a
lunchtime raid on Green Valley farm in Chipinge East, in an operation in
which they took away MDC officials.

One of those ‘abducted’ by the soldiers, who were brandishing AK47 rifles,
is Solomon Mazvokwadi, an MDC-T ward youth chairman for the area. The
soldiers were deployed in Chipinge East three months ago and have been
patrolling the area, allegedly intimidating MDC supporters.

MDC MP for the constituency, Mathias Mlambo, said the raid by the soldiers
on the farm was so sudden and brutal it left villagers trembling in fear.

‘They went to the farm looking for MDC supporters and officials. It’s
unfortunate our youth chairman was targeted and they took him away, but not
before rampaging through homes at the farm,’ Mlambo said.

‘As I’m speaking to you right now I am less than five kilometres from where
they took Solomon. His wife tells us the soldiers have beaten him up bad and
she too was assaulted when she tried to intervene,’ the legislator added.

The MP said the presence of the soldiers has been a cause for concern in the
area as they’ve basically taken over all policing duties from the police.
The police have also been too frightened to stand up against the soldiers.

‘When they raided the farm I personally phoned the police pleading with them
to come and help, because soldiers were harassing innocent civilians and
threatening them with guns. But no one dared to come and help. This has been
happening since the soldiers came into this area three months ago,’ the MP
said. He went on to say that some weeks ago another MDC supporter was
severely beaten by the soldiers for allegedly pursuing a married woman.

‘We all know that is a lie. Even if there was some truth in it, it was not
their business to investigate or beat up our supporter because they are not
the police. These soldiers have been deployed to cause mayhem in the rural
areas and I beleive we will witness more serious human rights abuses than
two years ago,’ Mlambo added.


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