Gutu residents in shock following attack by soldiers

via Gutu residents in shock following attack by soldiers | SW Radio Africa August 1, 2014 by Tichaona Sibanda

Pandemonium erupted on Tuesday at Mupandawana growth point in Gutu Masvingo province when soldiers went on the rampage, using logs to indiscriminately beat up people.

Crispa Musoni, a local businessman and former MDC MP for Gutu north, said it appears the rogue soldiers had planned the attack as it was carried out with military precision. The soldiers are from the 4.2 Infantry Battalion near the growth point.

Musoni told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the attack doesn’t appear to have been political as they targeted anyone they came across during their ‘30 minutes of madness.’

‘They didn’t ask for ID’s or political affiliations. They ordered people to lie down on the ground before beating them up with the logs. Many were injured, some of them seriously, and they are receiving treatment from various health centres,’ Musoni said.

The former legislator thought the attack was in retaliation for an assault on an army colleague who had been beaten up by two revellers in a pub days earlier.

Musoni escaped harm by closing down his shop and hiding in a back office. ‘It was scary; those boys could have easily killed someone. It wasn’t related to any political issues but they were just rogue, undisciplined soldiers who have tainted the image of the army,’ said Musoni.

The soldiers also dragged passengers out of buses at the main terminus and beat them up.

Despite calls made to the police to intervene, law enforcement officers stayed away for fear of being more victims of the soldiers.