The marching soldiers brought the town to a halt and blocked roads, forcing motorists to park on the roadsides.
When RadioVOP bumped into the soldiers near Manjange shopping centre, they were singing praises about President Robert Mugabe.
“We want our president (Mugabe) to stay in power forever and ever,” they chanted. “Ukadena gamba redu watanga hondo.” (If you provoke our hero then you must be prepared for war).
“I am afraid,” said Vongai Mandebvu. “I am confused,” adding that he had spent the day locked inside the house with his family because they feared the soldiers were after their lives.
Masvingo 4 brigade spokesperson Kingstone Chivave said: “I can not give any comment today, I need to be cleared with bosses before I say anything.”
Meanwhile in Mwenezi Zanu (PF) youth militia in collaboration with traditional chiefs were said to be forcing poverty stricken villagers to contribute US$2 each to buy the party’s membership card as their passport to getting food aid.
Zanu (PF) Member of Parliament for the area Kudakwashe Bhasikiti denied the allegations saying the buying of his party’s cards was voluntary. He said people were ‘rushing” to buy the cards because the party had a good reputation.
“Besides us, which party do you think villagers should join? It is no longer possible for the people to be fooled by MDC-T (Movement for Democratic Change) again. What is happening shows our popularity in the area. People actually scramble for the party cards,” claimed Bhasikiti.
But villagers told Radio VOP that they were being threatened with death by the party’s youth who were moving door to door forcing them to buy the cards.
Rashid Muziro of Maranda area said: “The youths are telling us that MDC-T is a foreign sponsored party hence its members in the rural areas should also get food from its top party officials.
“We are starving here but the food aid is being politicised by overzealous youths,” said another villager.