Villagers from popular legislator Joseph Chinotimba’s constituency in Buhera South are reportedly living in fear of explosives including landmines that were buried in their area during the liberation struggle that are being discovered by children herding cattle, The Herald reports.
This comes following the death of 2 minor children from Murove Village that were killed by a landmine that exploded after they tampered with it after their older sibling brought it home thinking it is a desirable toy.
In another incident, children picked up another explosive and took it home where their parents reportedly used it for close to 2 years not knowing it could be dangerous.
ZNA has reportedly since found 81 mm mortar bombs, 60mm mortar bombs, RPG7 rocket, and RPG2 rocket in the village since the unfortunate incidences occurred.
The villagers are reportedly speculating that the heavy rains which washed away topsoil might be the reason why explosives are being found in the area. ZNA is reportedly taking long to remove the explosives and villagers have covered any explosive or suspicious objects they have found by leaves and branches as they wait for them to be removed.
Speaking about the worrisome development the constituency’s member of parliament Joseph Chinotimba has said:
We called the bomb experts from the military to come and remove the explosives but they are taking long. It is not safe to live with explosives in the villages where children play and herd cattle.
On Monday, I had to personally call the Commander 3 Brigade (Herbert Chitepo Barracks) telling him of the fear gripping my constituency over uncollected explosives found in a number of villages in my constituency and he promised to send a team. We are still waiting but we do not feel safe with the explosives,
Chinotimba gave a small background of how his constituency ended up with explosives buried in the sand and said:
During the war, Buhera South was a liberated zone where guerrillas would safely hide their weapons and explosives and take them when the need arose.
Some of the soldiers died and no one had information on where they would have hidden their explosives.
When we were called to Dzapasi Assembly Point at the end of the war, some fighters were absorbed into the army while others got some positions in Government. They never went back to the bases to retrieve their explosives and other weapons. Those are the weapons we are seeing today in the villages.
The Zimbabwe National Army is yet to comment on the issue.
More: The Herald