Joint probe for police, army clash
Freeman Razemba and Tanaka Vunganai—
A joint team of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) officers has been set up to carry out comprehensive investigations into a case in which police officers were reportedly attacked by soldiers who allegedly went on a rampage on Tuesday night.The soldiers allegedly attacked police officers after being angered by the use of spikes.
Witnesses said the soldiers were retaliating after traffic police officers had reportedly used an iron bar bristling to deflate the tyres of a commuter omnibus whose driver had committed an offence. The kombi was carrying soldiers believed to be from the Mechanised Brigade.
Addressing a joint Press conference yesterday, chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba reaffirmed that as security forces they were fully united, despite the incident.
“The security forces regret the unfortunate incident that took place on 1st August 2017 in the Harare Central Business District. We want to categorically condemn that incident and assure the nation that a joint team has been set up to conduct comprehensive investigations into the matter and appropriate action will be taken against the perpetrators.
“We also want to reaffirm that as security forces we are fully united, despite this incident,” she said.
The Press conference was also attended by Officer Commanding Harare Province Senior Assistant Commissioner Elias Mvere, ZDF spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi, Joint Operations Command member Colonel David Nyasha and other senior officers.
On Tuesday night, soldiers reportedly ran amok and attacked police officers they came across with, much to the amusement of the on-looking public in the city. The group of soldiers was armed with sjamboks, logs and sticks.
The soldiers reportedly came from all directions and drove some of the police officers into Harare Central Police station. Police officers have either been seriously injured or killed by members of opposition parties, especially MDC-T activists.
Last month, a policeman was attacked and killed by thugs that operate at Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters in Harare’s central business district, during an illegal and violent demonstration.
Three MDC-T officials — Yvonne Musarurwa, Last Maengehama and Tungamirai Madzokere — are serving 20-year jail terms for stoning to death police inspector Petros Mutedza in similar circumstances in Glen View, Harare, in 2011.