By Matabeleland North Correspondent
TWO soldiers who fired five shots at close range and killed two villagers at a beer drink outside Victoria Falls have been released on $5 000 bail each by the High Court.
Bernard Sibanda (30) originally from Plot 5 in Karoi and employed by Support Company 1.2 Battalion at 1 Headquarters Brigade and Bonang Nare (21) of 8873 Cowdray Park in Bulawayo and employed at Charlie Company at the same Headquarters in Bulawayo are charged with a double charge of murder.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva granted bail to the two and ordered them to reside at 1.2 Infantry Battalion in Hwange, report once a fortnight on Mondays at Hwange Police Station and not to interfere with witnesses until the matter is finalised.
They were remanded to next week Friday.
The two are accused of killing Morgan Sibanda and Dumisani Mpofu, both of Chisuma 2 village under Chief Mvutu.
The incident sparked tensions in Chisuma resulting villagers baying for the head of a businessman Munya Mlauzi whom they accused of terrorising them backed by police and soldiers.
The soldiers were camped at Chisuma Primary School located adjacent to the shops where they had been drinking before turning fire on villagers.
The two soldiers were reportedly off duty on the fateful day and retreated to the base where they later emerged clad in uniform and carrying AK 47 rifles.
This was after a misunderstanding between the soldiers and villagers at a bar, as villager accused the soldiers of terrorising the community and sexually abusing young girls.
“On 30 September at Chisuma Shopping Centre the two accused persons who are members of the Zimbabwe National Army were deployed at Chisuma Business Centre armed with AK47 service rifles serial numbers ZA23158 and ZA22252 respectively.
“While at the business centre and at 7.30pm the two accused persons clad in army uniform, ordered bottle stores to close. After closing the bottle stores the two deceased who had been drinking beer at Banyai Bottle Store left the premises intending to go to their homes. The two accused persons followed the now deceased and caught up with them across the road where they ordered the now deceased Morgan Sibanda to lie on the ground.
Sibanda resisted and an argument ensued resulting in him being shot on the left side of the pelvis. Mpofu tried to run away and was shot on the right thigh, left thigh, left side of the chest, and right elbow and died on the spot.
Sibanda was rushed to Chisuma Clinic before being transferred to Victoria Falls Hospital where he died three hours after admission.
Five spent cartridges and a camouflage cap were recovered from the scene.