The gun men who are stationed at a nearby training camp are believed to be from 4 brigade, took one too many beers after government rewarded them with their 13th cheque and started beating villagers and bar patrons accusing them of being sell-outs because of supporting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai MDC party.
About eight villagers who were drinking beer at Banhi bar were seriously injured and admitted at Morgenster were they are receiving treatment.
One of the victims, Archfod Bungu told Radio VOP that the soldiers who were visibly drunk, were boasting that they had enough money to drink because of the bonus and started beating people accusing them of undermining and looking down on them as poor people because of their meagre salaries.
They also allegedly accused parents of causing their suffering because they supported MDC which they accused of inviting sanctions in the country.
“They were so many in civilian clothes drinking hard. When they got drunk they began to brag that they had a lot of cash mentioning the bonus they had just received. They started shouting at everybody and accused the locals of being sell outs because of supporting MDC,” he said.
He added that they started assaulting villagers after some youths told them that it was their right to support a party of their choice.
“Some youths answered them that they had the right to support a party of choice and this triggered the assault. They fought with the youths who later fled living them to beat any one they came across at the shops which were later forced to close,” said Bungu.
MDC Masvingo north District youth Chairperson, Anorld Batirai confirmed the incident.
“We received reports yesterday that villagers including our supporters were beaten by soldiers who were drunk after they were paid their bonuses. We have since visited some of our supporters who are critically injured at Morgenster Mission. As MDC we condemn such barbaric actions when members of the uniformed forces assault innocent
civilians over political issues, when they are supposed to be
apolitical,” said Batirai.
Batirai said such incidents reflects why their party have been pushing for security sector reforms because the security forces had been turned into extensions of political parties in particular Zanu-PF.
Efforts to get a comment form Masvingo ZNA spokesperson, Warrant Officer Kingston Chivave were fruitless as his mobile was not reachable.