Police, army revenge blitz on Chingwizi

via Police, army revenge blitz on Chingwizi – DailyNews Live 4 August 2014 by Godfrey Mtimba

MASVINGO – A joint police and army revenge blitz yesterday left thousands of Chingwizi settlers out in the open while at least 300 were arrested following the violence which saw two police vehicles being burnt on Saturday.

The police vehicles were torched in a long-drawn impasse over compensation and the flood victim’s intended relocation to one hectare plots.

Officials from NGOs in the area confirmed the early morning raid that left several wounded from the attacks.

The camp, housing more than 20 000 villagers was cordoned off from journalists but the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirmed the arrests.

Soldiers were roped in after the police were overpowered in earlier clashes that saw them being disarmed and two of their vehicles torched by the villagers.

A source who witnessed the blitz said the soldiers and police who were on a rampage, beating up  everyone they came across.

“They combined with the police, made a surprise raid and started beating up everyone. Others fled while those who remained have been arrested. Everyone, be it the disabled, women and children were beaten up,” the source who preferred anonymity for fear of retribution said.

Philip Shumba, of Mutendi and Shumba law firm, who is heading a ZLHR legal team representing the villagers, said by Saturday, a significant number of villagers had been arrested.

Other ZLHR attorneys representing the villagers are Collin Maboke of Ruvengo and Maboke Legal Practitioners and Martin Mureri of Matutu Kwirira and Associates.

“By Saturday, more than 80 were arrested and the arrests continued. They are detained at Triangle Police Station in a fence as the cells cannot carry all of them,” Shumba said.

Yesterday, more police lorries were seen ferrying more villagers to the police station, about 15km away from their camp.

Acting Masvingo Provincial police spokesperson, assistant inspector Nkululeko Nduna was not picking up his mobile phone when called to confirm the arrests.

The villagers on Friday torched two police vehicles when they were resisting the relocation of their clinic to one hectare plots which are nearby, demanding compensation before the move.

A day before, anti-riot police fired teargas to disperse the rioting villagers.

A villager who spoke to this reporter said thousands were left homeless after soldiers heavily armed with AK 47 assault rifles ransacked the camp.

“It’s like a war zone at the camp. We managed to escape with my family but scores of fellow villagers were beaten up by soldiers and police.

They also lost their tents that were set alight,” said a villager who declined to be named.

This comes as Government is failing to raise $9 million needed to compensate the villagers who were displaced and lost their property during evacuation following the Tokwe-Mukosi floods early this year.

Two months ago, the villagers also dressed down Provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Basikiti after he said that part of their compensation money was directed to teachers’ salaries.

Efforts to get comment from the ZNA here were fruitless.


  • comment-avatar
    feared by zanupf 7 years ago

    It will be entertaining when mob justice prosecutes zpf for their sins. I remember gadaffi Saddam being executed wailing for mrcy

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    These are the signs. When this happens it is only a matter of time before they beat up the wrong people. It is so sad that the Armed forces who are supposed to defend the country are now being used to beat up their own citizens.

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    Reverend 7 years ago

    Doc, I think they have already started on the wrong people. They have turned hatred into angry hatred and I certainly would not like to be wearing the boots of the police and army bullies now. This is going to rekindle the discension of gukurahundi, murambatswina and others and the fuse has started burning and I do not think the government with all its forces have the abillity to put it out. The army and police are going to be fighting for their lives now against the people they are supposed to protect.

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    100% agree reverend.

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    Shamhu YeNhanzva 7 years ago

    Instead of serving & protecting, these thugs are now in the business of beating up civilians. What a bunch of COWARDS!

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    Michael Saruchera 7 years ago

    This is the independence Zanu Pf style, what is the difference with the situation during the colonial era. Soldiers were beating up innocent civilians and some were put in protected areas ( makeep), it is also happening during the so called independence era.You can only be free if you submit to these looters.ZVAKWANA

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    grecko 7 years ago

    The villagers are right. Two days after Bhasikiti takes them for fools by saying the compensation money was taken by Chinamasa to pay civil servants (a dump explanation anyway) the President organised a party inviting all his cronies to drink and dine and dance. This is not a first, they had multi-million birthday and wedding celebrations in a space of few months, while the villagers are still languishing, none of them cares about them. he problem is the government’s doing in the first, poor planning and corrupt tendencies that saw the dam construction overlooking proper EIA procedures and taking decades to complete. It’s a pity how the looters’ club abuses people.

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    Justice 7 years ago

    This is people who have lived through the horror of the flood and losing their homes and possessions (with little or no support from the government afterwards) and now the government sees fit to turn on them….how sad but ZPF showing their true colours once more for the world to see.

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    kutongwa nonjazi 7 years ago

    The devils are still around.who lied to us kuti vave vanhu kwavo

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    Mishonga yanetsa 7 years ago

    Vakapisa mota ndoyavafira

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    Das Reich 7 years ago

    sad sad sad…..lets face it we Africans cannot govern ourselves.the ex-Rhodie must be gloating.this is a joke! What a joke!

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    Mandevu 7 years ago

    Hhhoo boy. Now things are getting interesting

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    gonohori 7 years ago

    Ko MP wavo ndewe bato ripi, apa ndopaaifanigwa kumira mira . next time vachaziva pekuvhotera

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    Mukanya 7 years ago

    The revenge was a foregone conclusion.

    I sympathize with the down-trodden, ill-treated and oppressed people of CHINGWIZI.

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    True Hero 7 years ago

    You were giving glory when the villagers destroyed the state vehicles and disarming the state police. Now you are saying the soldiers and police are wrong for beating these villagers. How can the police protect these villagers after all that has happened? Tit for tat.

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      True Hero that name does not suit you one bit. It would suggest you are the one that calls himself Publicprotector. How in the hell do all the 20 000 people burn 2 vehicles. And just to show you how silly and stupid you are the armed forces have stated the below:

      Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) yesterday distanced itself from the disturbances, saying its officers were never involved in the raids carried out at Chingwizi over the weekend.

      ZDF spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi said the raids were purely a police operation that had nothing to do with the army.

      “The army has no business in mounting a pre-dawn raid on unarmed civilians,” Mugwisi said yesterday.

      “This was a purely police operation and as the defence forces, we actually have no business in the raid — worse still, a raid conducted on flood victims.”

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        True Hero 7 years ago

        @ doctor do little you seem to be the one who is very stupid. Did you even read the heard line above ” Police, army blitz on Chingwizi” Does this head line show that the army had to do with the Chingwizi raids? What other clue do you really need to understand this head line. you are day dreaming. Wake up and smell the coffee!

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          Now you are really being stupid. The Army read that headline and have denied they were involved. It is not me that is denying. It’s the Army. Whether they were there or not they don’t want to be involved because the know that was a foolish action.Read the headline in today’s news “Police cordon off Chingwizi”

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            Doctor do little “FAKE Hero” is obviously using homing pigeons to get his news. He obviously hasn’t seen the new headline from the same source.

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          “heard line ” really!!!! Headline fool.

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          Reverend 7 years ago

          True Hero, great name man, you must be proud of thinking that one up eh!? There is a verse in the Bible which says “The TRUTH will set you free”, Then Jesus said “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life.”. Maybe you need to get hold of a copy of the Bible and seek the TRUTH. Become a Hero of the TRUTH, not a True Hero, because you are NOT.

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    A good idea for the upcoming SADC meeting! The 450 digntaries can be ferried out to Chingwizi in luxury coaches.Then their new leader and our Commander in Chief of the Defence forces can give a demonstration on how to deal with pesky starving refugees. He can lead his troops into battle in his bullet proof Mercedes Benz. The army,police,war vets,prison services,air force,green bombers,CIO,etc,etc can the show off their bravery, beating the s..t out of these new dissedents. Tea and cake can then be served before traveling back to Vic Falls for sundowners

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    Zuwarabuda Nyamhute 7 years ago

    True Hero (what a misnomer!). In a normal, democratic society, the police could simply have arrested the people who set their vehicles on fire and charge them.

    But ours is far from a normal, democratic society, anyway. Where in the world would thousands wallow in poverty and misery while an overfed elite, led by our Dear Leader, “drink, dine and dance?”