Soldiers reportedly descended on Gweru Central Business District vendors after dusk on Tuesday and brutally assaulted them for loitering in the streets. The soldiers, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and moving in trucks, beat up the informal traders for ignoring a ‘curfew’. A victim of the military brutally said:
I was slapped by one soldier after I had run away with my wares. (The soldier) accused me of failing to comply with orders to leave the CBD in the evening and trying to be clever by running away. I feel a lot of pain on the left cheek.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson, inspector Joel Goko said police were restoring order after last week’s protests. He said:
Generally, vendors should sell their goods at designated points, allocated by the council and as police, we help municipal cops to restore order on the streets.
I will find out the number of illegal vendors arrested, but generally, they will be charged with contravening by-laws of the city. I, however, cannot comment on the army, you need to speak to them (army).