Leroy Dzenga and Joseph Madzimure in Chivhu
TWO men who stormed Chivhu Police Post on Saturday and shot two soldiers, one fatally, were yesterday killed in a gun battle with security forces, who had cornered the duo hiding in an anthill pit, 16km along the Chivhu-Gutu road.
Besides the pistol they used in the murder, the assailants were also armed with the two rifles they seized from the soldiers they shot on Saturday.
A combined team from the police and army mounted a search immediately after the Saturday shooting in Chivu and tracked down the pair.
The two resisted arrest and instead opened fire on the police and army team. An exchange of fire ensued during which both assailants were shot and Corporal Stanalious Chiunye, from 1 Commando Regiment, was seriously injured in the leg.
Giving official details, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “Following the tragic shooting of two security service members in a murder, attempted murder and robbery incident at Chicken Inn Police Base, Chivhu on September 5, 2020 and the subsequent deployment of investigation teams, the security services inform the public that the two suspects have been accounted for after an exchange of fire at Waterbury Farm, Ward 8 Chivhu, off Chivhu-Gutu Road,” he said.
Assistant Comm Nyathi said the suspects observed a security service team approaching and tried to run away. They hid in an anthill pit and exchanged fire with the security services. In the process, one security service member was shot in the leg.
“The suspects were then shot and seriously injured. They were taken to Chivhu Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival,” he said.
He added that two rifles, four magazines which were robbed from the two shot soldiers plus the pistol used by the criminals to commit the murder and armed robbery were recovered from the scene.
Asst Comm Nyathi commended the public for their cooperation, which assisted in the location of the robbers.
“The security service applauds the public for swiftly supplying information and cooperation with the investigation teams, leading to the location of the two robbers.
“The security services reiterates that criminal elements who want to cause alarm and disturb the peace currently existing in the country will be decisively
dealt with in terms of the country’s laws.”
Eyewitnesses told The Herald that the suspects spent part of Saturday preceding the mishap, monitoring how the security agents were carrying out their duties.
One of the good Samaritans who assisted the injured soldier after the attack, Willard Mugabe, said he witnessed the incident in disbelief.
“It happened so fast like a movie. The two men were loitering around the area drinking beer yet they were monitoring the movements of the security forces at the Police Base. At around 3pm the officers entered the post for their daily routine. Some few minutes later we heard some gun shots and we ran away.”
Two women police officers were lucky to escape the ordeal unhurt.
After the duo had left clutching the stolen firearms disappearing into a bush behind the police post, vendors rushed into the police base to see if they could lend a hand.
“We observed from a distance only to realise that one of the soldiers was killed and the other one was seriously injured. We organised a car and took the injured soldier to Chivhu hospital, the other one had already died,” said Mugabe.
An employee with Chicken Inn, who declined to be named said after hearing gunshots at the complex, they closed their food outlet.
“When we realised that there were some skirmishes outside the shop, we closed our doors,” he said, adding that security forces, reacted swiftly to the scene.
A manhunt for the assailants was launched immediately until they located yesterday in a bushy area near the border of Chivhu and Gutu, where they were shot dead.
The two suspects are yet to be identified.