CHIREDZI — Two soldiers based at Buffalo Range Army Camp in Chiredzi appeared in court on Wednesday facing one count of murder and another of attempted murder after they allegedly shot dead one of their superiors and left another seriously injured during investigations into a smuggling racket.
Elioth Njani (21) and Clarance Magarawani (23) were not asked to plead to the charges when they appeared before Chiredzi magistrate Honest Musiyiwa.
They were remanded in custody to June 19.
The State alleges that last Friday, the
pair, based at Sango Border Post, shot and killed Martin Chiwawa, a member of the Zimbabwe National Army’s intelligence unit, and injured Emmanuel Chipatiso, also with the intelligence unit, at Sengwe turnoff along the Beitbridge-Chikombedzi Road after they intercepted a smuggling syndicate involving soldiers and border jumpers.
It is alleged sometime last month, Army Headquarters in Harare received a tip-off that soldiers based at Sango Border Post were conniving with border jumpers to smuggle goods into the country through
undesignated entry points near the post.
The army then dispatched Chipatiso and Chiwawa to investigate the allegations.
On the fateful day, the military intelligence officers masqueraded as illegal border jumpers and joined a group of border jumpers coming from Mozambique.
Njani and Magarawani allegedly escorted the group until they reached Sengwe turnoff.
At that point, Njani and Magarawani allegedly demanded payment for facilitating the illegal crossing.
Chipatiso and Chiwawa then produced their army identity cards and advised the two that they were now under arrest, but they resisted.
In a fit of rage, Njani and Magarawani allegedly opened fire, shooting Chiwawa, killing him instantly. They then turned their guns on Chipatiso and shot him, leaving him seriously injured.
Police arrested the suspects the following day and recovered two firearms from them.
They later recovered 12 spent cartridges from the shooting scene.