Soldier Fatally Shoots Fleeing Civilian On Christmas Day

Air Force Of Zimbabwe (AFZ) commanders at the Josiah Tungamirai (former Thornhill) Air Base in Gweru have reportedly refused to surrender to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), a soldier who allegedly shot and killed a civilian in Gweru in the wee hours on Christmas Day.

According to a police memo, the soldier, Staff Sergeant Evidence Makuyana, was on patrol when he fatally shot Ziyesa Tsvetera in the back while he was fleeing.

Makuyana was on patrol with a colleague when the duo spotted Tsvetera’s kombi which was parked along Gweru-Mvuma Road near the perimeter of the Air Base.

Makuyana and his colleague approached Tsvetera to question him about what he was doing.

On seeing the armed soldiers, Tsvetera reportedly panicked and started his car and drove off.

Makuyana fired three warning shots into the air, but when Tsvetera did not stop, he fired two shots at the vehicle.

The two soldiers then flagged a motorist who was driving past and the three followed Tsvetera. They caught up with the vehicle at Riverside Roundabout and managed to block him.

That was when the soldiers realised that Tsvetera had been shot in the back and was bleeding profusely.

The police memo read in part:

Background

Accused is a member of the Airforce of Zimbabwe Stationed at Josiah Tungamirai Airforce Base, Gweru and was on guard duties armed with a Service AK Rifle folding butt Serial Number ZA 37512 loaded with a magazine of 30 rounds.

Circumstances

On 25 December 2021 at around 0100 hours the accused in the company of his workmate Spencer Chihanga N.R [Redacted] aged 23, Rank: Private, Force number [Redacted] were doing perimeter checks. They spotted the now deceased who had parked his motor vehicle, a Toyota Hiace Omnibus registration number AFF 9797 silver in colour at Lingfield turn off along Gweru-Mvuma Road adjacent to the perimeter fence of Josiah Tungamirai Airbase.

The accused approached the vehicle intending to inquire as to who he was and his business at that site. Upon being approached the now deceased switched on the vehicle in an attempt to drive off.

At that moment accused fired three warning shots into the air ordering the now deceased to stop. The now-deceased ignored the orders and drove the vehicle onto the main road resulting in the accused firing two shots directed at the vehicle. The now-deceased did not stop and drove away from the scene towards Gweru C.B.D.

The accused and his colleague Spencer Chihanga sought the services of Stanley Muvhavhauri N.R [Redacted], a male aged 36 of [Redacted], Athlone, Gweru who was driving his Nissan Navara registration number AES 2019 towards Gweru to chase and block the deceased’s vehicle.

They caught up with the deceased at Riverside Roundabout, Gweru and managed to block him. They then realised that the now deceased had been shot at the back and was bleeding from the wound.

They then took now deceased to Gweru Provincial Hospital and later on made a report at Gweru Central Police Station.

Investigations Carried Out
• Scene was attended by both CID and DUB members.
• Three spent cartridges were picked from the scene.
• The firearm used was recovered with a Magazine of 25 rounds.
• Complainant was visited at Hospital and his condition is serious.
• It was noted that the complainant’s vehicle had two gunshot holes near the driver’s door.
• Next of kin Vimbai Mutero who is the complainant’s wife was advised.

New developments

• The accused made indications to police in the presence of his commanders who however have refused to release the accused to the police.
• The complainant (now deceased) succumbed to the gun-shot wounds while admitted at Gweru General Hospital.
• No further clues were found at the scenes during indications.

Outstanding

• To send the firearm and spent cartridges to Ballistics.
• To send the deceased to United Bulawayo Hospital for post mortem.
• To arrest the accused person and compile a court docket.

Matter is being investigated under ZRP Gweru Central CR 330/12/21 and CID Law and Order Gweru DR 01/01/22 refer.

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