By Staff Reporter
TWO soldiers have been killed, while one was seriously injured after violent clashes with gold panners in Bindura’s Chipadze area, Tuesday morning.
Zimbabwe National Army director public relations Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore said four members of the army taking part in independence parade rehearsals were involved in an altercation with the artisanal miners, resulting the death of the two
“We have our men who are part of a contingent preparing for independence celebrations. Some of them visited a local bar and on their way back they met the gold panners. You know these people have a penchant for terrorising people in the communities in which they operate.
“Its so rampant in Bindura and Kwekwe. It was just unfortunate that our members came across this rowdy crowd and an altercation ensued. Initially four were injured with two dying while another two were admitted in hospital with injuries. However, one has since been discharged from hospital,” Makotore told newzimbabwe.com.
After an all-time high in which the army was revered following the coup in November 2017 that deposed then President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s military has in the past year found itself facing public anger following a series of clashes in which live ammunition has been used resulting in deaths of protestors.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on two occasions since August last year deployed the army with devastating effect. Six protestors were killed on August 1st after a demonstration by pro-opposition activists demanding the release of presidential election results.
In January protests once again broke out over a 150% fuel price hike. The army was again deployed after the protests turned violent leading to the death of 17 people according to reports.