Suspected MDC youths bash soldier over August 1 army killings

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By Staff Reporter

FIVE suspected MDC youths from Redcliff have been dragged to court for allegedly assaulting a serving soldier accusing him of belonging to an organisation that shot and killed six civilians in Harare August 1.

The youths, Maphiso Magora, Tawanda Magora, Owen Mhaka, Daniel Makwire and Rashid Phiri, are accused of assaulting Witness Mpofu in September this year.

Mpofu said the youths, who were known to him, targeted him as they knew him as a soldier.

The assault followed a misunderstanding the previous day when the youths picked up a fight with Mpofu’s colleague with the matter becoming political when they started linking the serviceman’s behaviour with the widely condemned Harare shootings.

“The misunderstanding with them had started the previous day with one of my colleagues,” he said.

“The youths were shouting, saying that they were going to deal with soldiers as we were responsible for the shooting of civilians in Harare.”

The following day, Mpofu said, he was approached by the youths who scolded and accused him of the same offence but says he remained calm to avoid further confrontation with them.

“I tried to avoid any form of confrontation with them since they were known to me,” he said.

“They again accused me of being part of the army which killed civilians in Harare. They even said they were prepared to deal with soldiers.”

He added, “They provoked me expecting that I was going to react but I didn’t. It’s not because I couldn’t fight back but besides being a soldier, I am also a law abiding citizen.”

However, presiding Kwekwe magistrate Tayengwa Sangster let the youths off the hook with a ruling that the matter shall proceed by way of summons.

The youths are being represented by Claudious Makwara from Gundu and Dube legal practitioners under the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.