The security forces who expected to find a pay rise on Friday allegedly started beating up patrons in the club accusing them of not protesting to put up pressure to increase salaries for civil servants.
A patron who broke his arm and sought medical attention in Masvingo said the soldiers who were about twenty closed the club’s exits and beat up people accusing them of being cowards.
“They were drunk and ordered the disk jockey to stop the music before moving around beating us randomly. The y accused us of failing to protest against the government calling for pay rise for them as they are not allowed to strike by military rules,’’ said Dadirai Gozho a victim of the assault.
Gozho said about 10 people were seriously injured and detained at Gutu mission hospital where they are receiving treatment.
He added that the soldiers shouted that civil servants and other workers in the country should go to strike and accused them of being sell-outs because they did not join teachers when they took a job action organised by militant Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) last month.
Gozho also alleged that the soldiers asked them where they were getting money to drink beer every day when they were paid a meagre $180.
“They also asked us where we get money to drink every day when they were struggling and cited that as a reason why we were not pressurising government to deal with the issue of pay rise for its workers,” he added.
ZNA provincial spokesperson, Warrant Officer Kingston Chivave could not be reached for comment but police in Gutu confirmed the incident and said investigations to bring the culprits to book were under way.
This is not the first time soldiers have wrecked havoc to unsuspecting revelers in different night clubs in the province.
Two months ago soldiers from the provincial headquarters severely assaulted patrons at Ritz night club in Masvingo city centre while others were beaten at Labamba night spot in Chiredzi military men from Buffalo range camp.