Man stumbles on arms cache

Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau

Gweru police on Monday requested help from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) bomb disposal unit and army engineers to inspect a plastic bag with three AK47 assault rifles stumbled upon by a farmer on a plot on the outskirts of Gweru.

Mr Malvin Chimwe (40) of Mkoba 14 was digging on a small plot that people in the area said had never been cultivated before along the Lower Gweru Road when his hoe hit the pack of three AK47s assault riffles stashed in a plastic bag underground.

“At first I thought my long and sharpened hoe had ripped into debris of some sort, but when I swung the hoe a second time I realised there were metal objects,” he said

Mr Chimwe said he was frightened when he then realised that his hoe had hit some dangerous weapons and quickly dashed to an elderly man a stone throw away.

“I was very frightened by the incident and I panickingly went to seek help from an elderly man who was on the next field. 

“Upon inspection, the elderly man confirmed that what I had stumbled upon were guns, so I dashed to Nehanda Police Station in Mkoba to make a report,” said Mr Chimwe.

Mr Chimwe said police came and sealed off the area and sought the services of army experts.

A police source close to investigations said the army bomb disposal experts and engineers discovered that in addition to the AK47 assault rifles, there were also four fully charged AK 47 magazines, again hidden underground.

A police source said the AK47 rifles were rusty, a sign that shows that they had been hidden underground probably for more than 5 years. 

Similarly, the four fully charged AK47 magazines were also looking old and were wrapped in a plastic material.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said CID ballistics experts were undertaking investigations.

While some in the area wondered if the weapons had been hidden during the liberation war, police sources said there was a possibility that the weapons could have been used and abandoned by armed robbers.

Mr Jacob Munamati who farms near the scene said the plot where the guns were found had never been cultivated before. 

“They (weapons) could be as well be arms of war because that piece of land had never cultivated before this discovery,” he said.

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