Zimbabwean national Brian Madzvimbo who survived the 24 March attack on Palma, Mozambique, says he spent two days in the bush after his vehicle was ambushed while working for KEA Projects.
Madzvimbo’s vehicle was found abandoned with a body next to it, and colleagues feared he was dead.
Speaking to ZimLive from Manica after finally being rescued on April 4, Madzvimbo said he “saw at least 200 bodies, at least 50 with heads severed.”
His account could not be verified, the Mozambican government – eager to project normalcy in Palma – has so far not said how many people died.
Madzvimbo, originally from Murehwa, said many Zimbabweans working on the gas projects had changed their names by acquiring fake Mozambican identity documents. His was Ibrahim, he said:
There was Max, a mechanic. They beheaded him for being a rasta. From KEA where I worked, two people are still missing. One of them is Tennyson, but I’m sure that’s not his real name. Then there are two Zimbabwean sisters I know from church, Monica and Mariana from CMSG Catering. They can’t be found. I also know brothers Tony and Alan, who are still missing.
Most of those that died couldn’t or didn’t run for it. They thought the accommodation that their companies were renting was safe, but the insurgents breached the security and searched every room.
Meanwhile, the family of Nyasha Mugwagwa, another Zimbabwean who went missing following the attack, said the 38-year-old is dead.
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Nyasha. This occurred on March 28 in Palma during an attack on the town by insurgents.
The family statement did not state how they had received confirmation. Nyasha was married to a Mozambican national and the couple had a one-year-old daughter.
The terrorists targeted areas where foreign workers and contractors were residing and went door-to-door, looting and killing occupants.
Many were beheaded and their bodies left lying in the streets, hundreds were airlifted and others escaped by boat as fighting raged.
The Mozambican army regained control after several days of fighting when the terrorists had already killed dozens and looted shops.
Zimbabwe and other regional countries have discussed a troop deployment to deal with the insurgency.