A United Kingdom-based publication, The Guardian says that it has troves of Zimbabwe Republic police files which implicate the army in atrocities committed against protestors.
While the official position blames the opposition MDC, civil society organisations and ‘rogue elements’ within the security services, the police files reveal that the army is at the centre of the brutality.
The report further claims that police officials who are frustrated at the impunity of the military handed over the files to the publication. Part of the Guardian account reads as follows:
One report, filed by police in Glenview in the capital, Harare, on 14 January, describes how a Toyota driven by two men, including a 29-year-old named as Trymore Nachiwe, was blocked by a pickup truck without number plates or other identification.
Men in civilian dress and some wearing Zimbabwe National Army uniforms then got out of the pickup armed with stones, iron bars, machetes and teargas canisters, the report says.
They smashed the Toyota’s windows and ordered Nachiwe and his friend to lie down by the roadside, where they were punched and kicked repeatedly. Nachiwe managed to reach his home but died in hospital after seeking medical attention the following day.
… Among dozens of reports of robbery are incidents in which groups of men wearing army uniforms and carrying automatic weapons arrived in unidentified vehicles, forced their way into homes through threats and then looted property worth up to $8,000.
In [another] incident, an eight-year-old child was threatened with a handgun to force his parents to reveal their savings. In another, a man was stopped while walking home and beaten with whips. His wallet with $235 was taken. In a shopping centre in Glenview, cash was taken from the till, along with telephones and drinks.
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