Rogue soldiers terrorise, threaten villagers

A GROUP of soldiers is reportedly terrorising and intimidating villagers in some parts of Gokwe in the Midlands, where they are routinely addressing Zanu PF campaign rallies threatening “war” if the party loses in the forthcoming general elections.

Report by Everson Mushava

Villagers told NewsDay in separate interviews over the weekend that the soldiers were encamped at Mapfungautsi Plateau from where they were conducting several rallies at business centres and schools around the vast farming district.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Colonel Alfios Makotore could not deny nor confirm the fact that soldiers were acting as Zanu PF political commissars and threatening bloodshed should villagers vote for the MDC-T, demanding written questions.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, who has repeatedly described State security sector reforms as a “no-go” area, denied that the party had engaged soldiers to lead its campaign.

“I have not received such reports. I think there are people pretending to be soldiers. I don’t think that our soldiers could get that far,” Gumbo said.

However, the villagers said the group of rogue soldiers had encamped over a month ago.

This comes at a time military chiefs and Zanu PF bigwigs have been repeatedly threatening anarchy if MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wins the next presidential elections that Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe wants held next March.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday confirmed his party had received several reports of heavy military presence in most parts of the country, particularly Midlands, Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland Central and West provinces.

“The party has received reports that some soldiers are intimidating villagers and threatening them with war if they do not vote for Zanu PF in the forthcoming elections,” Mwonzora said.

“That is why we are calling for security sector reforms. We will engage the international community such as Sadc, the African Union and even the United Nations. That is why we have always said President Mugabe is indicating left, but turning right.He preaches peace and acts war. He is not bona fide in his calls for peace.”

A Gokwe villager who declined to be named for security reasons said two soldiers (names supplied) had been terrorising villagers in Chinyudze and Mudzongwe areas.

“They came as if they were attending to a mine wrangle involving one Nkomazana, but then started calling for rallies threatening people. They say if Zanu PF wants a ‘No’ vote in the constitutional referendum, that is what the villagers should vote for,” the villager claimed.

“Last Thursday, they were addressing villagers at Mazalahedwa business centre where (soldier’s name supplied) seemed to have gone into a trance, claiming being possessed by the spirit of Chaminuka. He threatened to tear everyone apart if they voted for the MDC-T in the forthcoming elections.”

Recently, there were reports that more  military personnel were now in Zanu PF structures and would be central in the party’s election campaigning particularly in Manicaland and Masvingo, the former Zanu PF strongholds where the party suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the MDC-T in the March 2008 polls.

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43 Responses to Rogue soldiers terrorise, threaten villagers

  1. Mafirakureva October 29, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Its high time NATO comes to Zimbabwe and put these rogue soldiers in their right position.

    • John Smith Mutikizizi October 29, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      I understand your frustration Mafirakureva, but if NATO is allowed to come in who knows where they will stop? Can we afford to get into a war situation ? Will we not become subservient to them after the intervention? I prefer non violent options, such as SADC closing all its borders. Whatever compelled the politicians to form the GPA should be put in place to force change if need be. But there is God in heaven. What we see is temporary,but peace is coming to Zimbabwe! Glory be to God! ( I know I sound delusional to the carnal-minded, but wait and see!)

      • bibi adepoju October 29, 2012 at 10:59 am #

        ‘Can we afford to get into a war situation?’ you ask. What war? Do you think ZNA can fight NATO for even a day?

        • Honai October 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

          IF Zimbabwe gets into a war it won’t be a war. Rather a massacre of civilians without limits

    • kazi October 29, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      zimbabwe ndeyeropa iyi

    • chief October 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      No wonder why your name Mafirakureva i just hope you will leave to tell after a war broke out.Pliz stop wth byour misguided thoughts there are so dangerous…..war is easy to start difficult to finish mwanawamai

  2. Love Joe October 29, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    MDC-T should work hard to lure fomer soldiers other that liying to the world that ZNA is working for ZANU-PF. Retired soldiers have the right to support they like, after all most of them are War Veterans. Hands off former soldiers, let them Champaign for what they believe.

  3. wamaromo October 29, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Not in uniform my friend, we call it intimidation? I am happy if a soldier removes his national gear and wear his zanupf regalia and campaign but once in uniform it becomes unprofessional. It does though not surprise because ZNA is bunch of undisciplined zanupf thugs. Let them prove they are not thugs. Just like ZRP who I think should now be called Zimbabwe Traffic Police. We need a ZRP now to fill the void left by ZTP.

  4. madzo@talk October 29, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    What i understand no one can force a donkey to drink.Soldiers or no Soldiers people know what they want if people want change they will go for change.But now its high time for people to stand firm for their choice.In shona they say ateya mariva murutsva haatye kusvipa magaro.Iyo penzura yako chete inokurira zvose zvekunzi hondo hondo izvo.We are a country which loves peace and its good for us.whenever we face challenges of this nature let us pray to God who will never forget us.Remeber ndiMwari vatisvitsa patave nhasi.

  5. samas October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    u can say that again Madzo lets play our politics in the balot box where there will be no soldiers or police but only you and your pen

  6. tafadzwa chidume October 29, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    our army is apolitical and wants peace i dnt think they can go that far

  7. Wezhira October 29, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    We Zimbabweans we want peace, we have this attitude of wait and see so we don´t care who is going to be who.
    Ava makore mangani tichirarama nevimbiso, takazvarwa zviriko but hazvirevi kuti hatingoni ngavauye kuMasvingo vatirove vaonekuti hatidzoreri here. NATO iyoyo hatidi kana kusina kuMasvingo the time is near and one more thing masoja acho madzikoma, vvaninína, hanzvadzi , vana baba nana mai no fear i just kill them @ home

  8. tb October 29, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    ngava rege kuita zvisina basa. hudofo ndiwho whakawandisa!

  9. Mutongi Gava October 29, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    The angels of tortue and death have awoken, just mention the term elections and its all systems go for zanu, they become blood thirsty and will only reason when blood flows. The are now restless untill they hear civiliians groaning in pain with broken limps. The country is their private asset and no-one should lay a claim on it They fought the liberation struggle so that they can do as they wish with Zimbabwe, their property, as for the rest wallow in poverty and remain obedient to the masters of the country.

  10. Sono October 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    How come Tsvangirai was telling people at a rally in Chiweshe over the weekend that the election was going to be free and fair? The man must be crazy.

    • Tate'sOwn October 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      Iwe he said “must” and not “will” mhani!

  11. mukanya wezhira October 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    soldiers or no soldiers the wind of change is blowing

  12. Tate'sOwn October 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Kwaunoti kucampaigner kurova vanhu no kuva threatener with death?yu say you dont want a nato war,but do you think those villagers in gokwe are at peace?nato war,zanupf war,war vets war hapana difference to people in chinyudze so shut up.vanhu ve zanu dont you envy the romney,obama kind of campaign?ooh that was very stupid of me to ask…they are the IMPERIALISTS!…..My foot!

    • Tawanda October 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      NATO only comes in to facilitate looting for its member states. It is a worse devil. Look at Libya today. Was it not better under gaddaffi. What’s there to show for the so called revolution. NOTHING except that their country is worse than it was. Whites are a cruel lot. They are happy to find pipo like Moregirls Chematama whom they can use to their advantage and cause division. Some of these reports about soldier this n that are exaggerated by NGOs in a bid to bootlick their foreign masters. We can have a Zimbabwean solution to our Zimbabwean problems

      • Feisal October 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

        Libya is better off now.Gadaffi was likr Mugabe a Liability to his country

      • ady October 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

        tawanda,, who told you that they are the NGOs causing this havoc,,,,i think the writer pin pointed it that they are not the so- called NGOs advocating these guys but the indegenous people of the area,,how can we have a solution to our own problems whilst tirikutozvitadzira pachezvedu

    • David maruma October 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

      You are cunning and dangerous

  13. Tendai Chaminuka October 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    The problem with our media is that they think the rural folk are a of idiots who can not make decisions on their own.Remember these are the same people who actually know what brutality is.Dating back to the Selous Scouts era and having suffered that they went on to vote for which ever party they wanted to vote for in 1980.Remember,the heavy presence of Smith’s army. What we are about to see is the repetition of 2000 elections.First,Z.A.N.U (P.F) is given a litmus taste through a referendum.Using the referendum results it is able to realign itself and finally win the harmonised elections.U can not tell Mugabe that there is something called a free and fair election because according to the conditions he was given in 1980,those were not international standards of free and fair elections.Opposition parties in Zimbabwe lack strategists who can match Z.A.N.U (P.F).That’s trying to be polite but in essence their ideologies are foreign and can not attract a poor rural folk.Besides saying Mugabe achembera necorruption which now become part of them what else can they say.For the first time and this happening during G.P.A,a cotton farmer was paid 35 cents/kg.The opposition does not even offer solutions but keeps quite as if farmers are not part of their electorate.Until the opposition begins to consider the rural folk as an important integral of their support base.Havalume chinhu.Votonyepa kuti masoja arikupindira.

    • munhu October 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      there is no such thing called the opposition in this country. we have a GNU so there is no opposition.

      • Feisal October 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

        ZANU is the Opposition !!!!

      • ady October 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

        is there any unity in that so called GNU,,did the principles reach resolution,if not ,,then ask yourself why?

  14. bongani October 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    why not mention gukurawundi also? .

  15. adviser one October 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    zanu pf has indigenisation and land to the people. what about mdc t what are you offering we want to here that from you yes masoldier mati ari kutyisa vanhu yes but what is your B plan

  16. Chimurenga October 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Tibvirei apa Newsday that’s shallow journalism that’s very few people take you seriosly.

    • ady October 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      wakanyeperwa wangu,,tinoida newsday iwe ndiwe wakaimaka coz inonyora chokwadi

  17. fact October 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    garai maziva izvi kunemasoja ezanu en kunemasoja enyika yezimbabwe,musatye henyu this tym tinomiranemi.i swore royalty to ZIMBABWE and the laws of the land kwete kuZanu

  18. scorpion October 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    imivanhu turn to the God nokuti he is always reachable

  19. Candid October 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    We went to war for majority rule…zanu has no ryt to say that wat the majority wants z wrong! wen i took up arms to liberate this cntr, i did so not bcoz of my luv for zanu/zapu, bt for the luv of zimbabwe! mugabe’s tym z up…we nid a fresh set of brains in the state hse! nw he leaves me no choice bt to vote for mdc-t, its the lesser of two devils! smith and his well equiped army cud nt stifle the spirit of freedom…wat more the zna with their worn out shoes, torn uniforms n empty stomachs-lest they be fooled into dreaming the impossible!…ssshh!…the winds of change are blowing!

    • Chipo October 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Noise gamba rechokwadi iWeb we need more like you not these brainwashed zanulilised ignorant people has inter kunyepera change is coming whether they like it or not

  20. Tjingababili October 30, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    These cant be national soldiers, but a rabid bunch of terrorists

  21. chasura October 30, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    Taneta mangwana mangwana, Masoja, indiginazation, Asiagate,zvawandisa tava nyika yakaita seyiko nhayi mwari.

  22. Dzvinyangoma October 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    This kind of irresponsible reporting reminds me of the media’s culpability in the Rwanda genocide. The report is based on unnamed villagers, Newsday has not itself seen or verified the existence of such soldiers at least from this report. Wouldn’t it have been prudent for the reporter to go and see for himself at least that the soldiers are camped there before running the story. Zanu PF have said they do not know of the existence of such soldiers, MDC-T have only said they have heard reports which means they cannot confirm one way or another but given their political interests would acknowledge anything that would put Zanu PF in a negative light.

    I have never seen the so called independent media running a positive story on our army since 2000. The army is involved in a lot of humanitarian work in and around the country rebuilding bridges, schools, clinics and responding to floods. Unlike say the UK and USA media regardless of what missions their army is involved in they come out in total support. Most media houses were against the Iraq war yet they ran acres and acres of space praising their army even with allegations of abuse against civillians in those wars. They excused the majority and blamed it on a minority. Not our media, no. The DRC war is a case in point. The independent media ran what seemed like celebratory headlines whenever deaths of our men and women in uniform were announced. Remember the story of the “headless” corpse who had to be exhumed because of one independent paper only to find that the guy was intact and the reporter fled the country claiming “persecution”?

  23. Chief Zimunya Junior October 31, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Troubled times are back-

  24. mwanawevhu December 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    in this country the media is biased especially the newsday why is it nguva dzose munonyepera ZANU,if u people want to campaign do it without tarnishing ZANU’s name coz if u people know the merits of political parties u must stick with it not kutinyepera tipei mazita emasoja acho coz all u are saying is totally gibberish.LEAVE ZANU.PF ALONE AND CAMPAIGN WISELY. the other thing is visit the area and u confirm kuti is it true before publishing your stories

  25. tasvika December 10, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    saka hondo mukaitanga munozoigona here kuipedza??????????

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