A soldier who killed five people and injured three others on Christmas Day in Mhondoro has been arrested.
According to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)’s Brigadier-General Augustine Chipwere, Lance Corporal Monga shot eight people at Wanganui Shops in Mhondoro Ngezi at around 6 pm resulting in the death of five.
Brig-Gen Chipwere said investigations indicate Lance Corporal Monga had a misunderstanding with a civilian, Brian Mutero, at the shops.
A mob got itself involved in the quarrel between the two and attacked Lance Corporal Monga.
According to Brig-Gen Chipwere, after being cornered by the mob and in the commotion that followed, Lance Corporal Monga warned the crowd by firing three rounds into the air. He added:
Despite the warning shots, the crowd continued to close in on him. He then fired his weapon into the crowd thereby killing four people on the spot and injuring four others, of whom one later died at a local clinic.
The other three who sustained minor injuries were medically attended to and discharged from the hospital.
Brig-Gen Chipwere said that after the shooting incident, Lance Corporal Monga sought assistance from a nearby school.
One of the teachers at the school drove him to the nearest police station but the police officers who were manning the police station were afraid of arresting him.
Monga is reported to have then walked throughout the night to his camp where he handed himself over to the military authorities.
He was eventually surrendered to the police.
In his statement issued on Saturday, Brig-Gen Chipwere said the Zimbabwe Defence Forces deeply regrets the recent shootings, including the other two that occurred on Christmas Eve in Gweru and Harare respectively. He said:
The ZDF acknowledges and regrets the loss of innocent lives and deeply commiserates with the bereaved families and communities. The ZDF will assist all the bereaved families in accordance with regulations pertaining to such incidents.
The ZDF wishes to appeal to members of the public to report any member of the ZDF who behaves in a criminal manner or displays behaviour, not in keeping with the ZDF code of conduct, to the nearest cantonment area or to phone the following numbers 024 2792661 and 071 2808007 so that corrective action is taken promptly.