Army killings: ED demands evidence

By Blessed Mhlanga

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has shot down reports that the military carried out extra-judicial killings on at least 17 civilians after being roped in by the police to quell last month’s violent protests.

He has instead demanded to be supplied with concrete evidence of the victims’ identities and where they were buried.

Mnangagwa at the weekend told French broadcaster, France 24, on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Ethiopia that the security forces did not purposely kill civilians, serve for “some isolated incidences” where some individuals could have overstepped the line.

“You say judicial killings, this is where the army directly and purposefully orders the killing of people; we would want to see the evidence. We see all this in social media; we would want to see evidence where the 17 killed were buried. Let us see the relatives who will say I lost a son, I lost a daughter, I lost a cousin by the hands of the army.

“I am not saying that the army did not overstep their powers. It’s possible that individuals in the army might have and some have been arrested in that regard by the police. We also arrested over 1 000 (people) who were involved in the violence,” Mnangagwa said.

He also accused non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the main opposition MDC, led by Nelson Chamisa, of organising the violent protests and stage-managing the extra-judicial killings, to tarnish the military’s image.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and several other local rights groups have produced damning dossiers, narrating how the military fatally shot civilians at point blank, raped women and carried out nocturnal visits at perceived anti-government activists’ homes and brutally assaulted them, oftentimes in front of their families.

But, Mnangagwa said the rape reports were fabricated, demanding that the estimated 20 victims come out in the open and narrate their ordeals to police.

“We have only one single case that came out in Chitungwiza, the rest we now know that the women that were paraded were just a make-up by some organisations and some have left the country, have been shipped to the UK (United Kingdom). The few who are still in the country are being moved from house to house and we are trying to track them down, but it’s all stage-managed. We are challenging anyone local or foreign to produce them [victims of rape], so that we see them and the world can see them as we say this is what happened,” he said.

Refusing to name the foreign powers behind the January 14-16 shutdown protests, Mnangagwa said his government had identified foreign nationals who entered the country to train regime-change agents to carry acts of banditry and cause anarchy.


“I consider it as an attempt to regime change, that is the better word, it is a regime change agenda which is not new, which has been a phenomenon visiting Zimbabwe throughout the last 18 years … I am aware through security intelligence of people who came to do workshops and training our people in the opposition, we have already submitted the names and passport numbers to the respective embassies in Zimbabwe, that will come out at the appropriate time,” he said.

Despite the rebuttal by Mnangagwa, respected human rights group Amnesty International (AI) on Sunday released a hard-hitting report containing names of victims of the State-sponsored fatal shootings, names of their relatives and physical addresses.

The report titled Open for Business, Closed Dissent states that those shot, killed and injured were taken to government hospitals.

“As a result of the deployment of security forces, at least 12 people had been killed by the security forces by 18 January. Medical doctors who attended to the wounded or who saw those already killed when their bodies were brought to hospitals told AI that the wounds they had seen and treated were consistent with gunshots as well as trauma caused by the use of blunt and sharp instruments particularly on the feet, backs and buttocks. They also observed that the gunshot wounds were high-velocity and were aimed at causing maximum damage,” the report read.

AI names one of the victims as Kelvin Choto (a soccer player at Chitungwiza City FC), whose father said he reported the matter to the police under docket number SDD02/19, commonly referred to as “Sudden Death Dockets.”

“This was the case for Kelvin Tinashe Choto, a 22-year-old football player from Chitungwiza, a high-density residential town about 30km from Harare, who was shot in the head and killed by security forces outside his home on January 14. He died on the spot and his body was taken to Makoni Police Station by angry residents. He was buried on January 19 and is survived by a wife Varaidzo Chiyanike and a seven-month-old daughter. According to his father, Kelvin was watching clashes between protesters about 30 metres from Makoni Police Station fence when a police officer shot him in the head,” the report read.

AI also reports that, Elvis Saidi from Mbare, was gunned down on January 14 by riot police outside Chishawasha Flats, while Patricia Kamuriwo was severely wounded after she was shot in her thigh near a police station in Epworth on her way from work.

In another detailed report, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) reported attending to 343 cases of injured people, of which 78 people sustained gunshot wounds, while four had dog bites after dogs were allegedly unleashed on them by security forces.

Other names of civilians killed during the skirmishes, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum include Abraham Nyapokoto (35) of 34 7th Avenue, Mbare, National, buried at Zororo; Trymore Nachiwe of Glen View Area 8, buried in Chimanimani, Solomon Nyaruwa ward 6 (49) buried in Chimanimani, Thandiwe Ncube (age not given), buried in Epworth and Tinashe Kaitano (20) ward 2 Kadoma, buried at Rimuka Cemetery.

The HR Forum also revealed that 14 women were raped by soldiers in Hopley, while four others were raped in Epworth.

Mnangagwa confessed ignorance of the cases documented by ZADHR and AI, justifying the deployment of soldiers, saying the protesters were so violent that they overran and overwhelmed police.

“They were so violent that they attacked police stations, burnt police cars, killed a policeman, beating (of) people. It was so violent that the police were overwhelmed by these people. It showed that they were well organised countrywide,” he said.

14 Comments

  1. Please give us a full list of the names of the 17 people killed by the soldiers and their relatives must publicly confirm that these are truely their relatives who were killed by the soldiers. You only apear to have done that with Kelvin whom you confirm was shot by the police and not soldiers. Your also did well to give the police ref number of the case and please do the same with the remaining 16. We also need to confirm where they were buried. In zimbabwe, it is aunlawful to bury the dead without getting the case recorded by the police first and obtain the burial order regardles of the cause of death, so the ministry of information must also make a followup and update Zimbabwe and the whole world with regard to that sensitive allegation. We also need to take congrete steps to neutralise possible politicaly motivated falsehoods aimed at chasing away potential investors. Sometime ago we had a similar report of one Blantina who was said to have been beheaded in in the full glare of her kids but it was false.

    1. its the duty of the media to investigate and give supporting evidence but alas they do not do that instead rush to print falsehoods its very sad and no wonder some of these independent papers have lost their credibility

    2. For God’s sake please change the way you think and the way you do things!
      So, You want people who were attacked, beaten and molested by the Police and the Army to go and submit REPORTS to the same group of Policeman who committed these crimes?
      It seems as though you are even SUGGESTING that those who were MURDERED by these rogues should arise from the dead and go report the killings to the same Policeman?
      WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? NGOZI?

  2. After listening to the interview on France 24 one would understand where ED is coming from you do not conclude issues on hearsay and social media stuff in serious issues of running a country there is need for hard evidence not from foreign governments, well done ED

    1. Philip Valerio Sibanda once appeared before the Kalema commission and said that soldiers did not kill anyone on 1 August and if anyone has evidence which suggests otherwise they should come forward. I guess it is also hearsay that soldiers shot people who died on 1 August. Oh by the way i had forgotten according to Obert Mpofu there were snipers who were planted by MDC Alliance they are the ones who killed people right.

  3. the violence was pre planned people were beaten stopping them from going to work,some protesters were killed by protesters like the child who was stoned to death in epworth.those thugs understood only one language, live ammunition.

  4. In the case of the lady by the name Blantina, she wase said to have been beheaded by the war veterans while her kids watched but further investigations revealed that the woman had actualy died of a natural cause a long time before then. All those fake news were then being peddled by the dailynews.

  5. shunguhadziurayi mangarayi

    It is very unfortunate that some of our fellow Zimbabweans whom I believe are being paid to tarnish the image of their country are always behind such lies. But what annoys is these falsehoods damages the country economically and not ZANU PF. These lies scare away investors thereby creating more unemployment. Some people even become very happy talking such lies in the hope that it will tarnish ZANU PF image forgetting that they are blackmailing the country. You can easily see that these issues are always planned and these were some of the actions that chamisa was boasting of during the Concourt that we have so many ways to spoil the recovery of our economy. I think its high time that some people must be jailed for treason and sabotage.

  6. It is also hearsay that ED won the presidential election!

  7. janana madhogodhogo

    You can defend the zanu pf regime all you want but it will never erase the truth.When people were shot by soldiers after elections all zanu pf leaders,supporters and security service chiefs denied that the innocent civilians were shot by soldiers but the commission of inquiry that was set up by Mnangagwa revealed that it was the soldiers indeed who had shot the unarmed civilians.It was mostly zanu pf youths who were involved in the looting and destruction of property so that the blame would be laid on innocent people who were later picked door to door by the soldiers.Most of those that were picked at their houses were innocent people.The zanu pf youths then directed the soldiers door to door mostly to opposition activists who were their targets.It is crystal clear.The problem with these zanu pf hoodlums is that they think if they keep on lying,the lie will one day become true.Its a big NO. It does not matter how many people are supporting the lie,it will never become true.It pains me to realise that there are some idiots who still think that any demo or protest against the zanu pf govt is done and spear headed by people who are paid to tarnish the country’s image.Does one need to be paid first to notice that fuel price has gone beyond the reach of many,let alone basic commodities?Why is it not happening in our neighbouring countries if it is true?These goons take people for granted and they think people are not able to read between the lines.Even a grandpa from the remotest part of Zimbabwe knows that our comatose economy is as a result of looting of state resources with impunity by the zanu pf leaders and rampant corruption by the same devils.Only those with mental problems will buy such FILTHY lies.

  8. I think most of the rape cases were cooked up.

    After listening to one account by a group of ladies on you tube l had a lot of questions and concluded this was a political game.

    Those behind these acts may try as many tricks as they can but in the end it will help to cleans the Govt and tarnish MDCA once the truth comes out. The truth always comes out and the international world that you so much wish to intervene act of facts not hearsay.

    I wonder why some Zimbabweans can’t see the proceedings of the con court case where Chamisa was challenging ED and ZEC should have opened peoples minds and eyes.

    The way Zimbabweans now accept lies will come to haunt us in future, what example are we setting for our kids. All they will believe is if you don’t like someone just peddle lies about them or if you want something lie to get it.

    It will only take one serious lie against you to make one realize how bad lies are’ those who have gone through such an experience will know what l am talking about.

  9. No one can come forward because there is no guarantee they will live to see the next day. It is easier said than done. Wait until you lose your kith & kin hamutauri zvese izvi.

    1. i support u Mr President , those were stage managed allegations just to tarnish the image of our army, that was the work yeMDC ALLIANCE led by Chamisa achituma vanaChibaya nemaNGOs and the so called humana rights organisations in their endeavor to push the regime change agenda.Zvaitoratidza kuti pane third force chete in every moves in attempt to push for security reforms…

    2. Produce evidance ka

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