Residents of Chiredzi town have accused soldiers patrolling the streets late at night to enforce compliance with the 21-day national lockdown of brutality.
Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association chairperson Jonathan Mupamombe told the NewsDay Weekender that the soldiers are targeting tuckshop owners and vegetable vendors. He said:
Soldiers are beating up people at night. We have one tuck-shop owner whose whereabouts are not yet known after she was taken by soldiers around 10 pm yesterday. Some vegetable vendors are still nursing injuries after they were severely beaten in the early hours of the day.
Zimbabwe National Army Masvingo provincial spokesperson Sergeant Shelon Mudhara could not give the publication an accurate account of what transpired when reached for comment. He, however, suggested that some of the alleged victims could be lying about military brutality.
Recently, a TellZim reporter was detained by police in Chiredzi at the instigation of a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) district official soon after visiting Chiredzi General Hospital.
The journalist was detained for going to the hospital to verify reports that nurses at the hospital had refused to handle the body of a woman who was suspected to have succumbed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.