By Matabeleland North Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has declared war against Chisuma villagers in Victoria Falls following the shooting to death of two locals.
ZNA officials and Chisuma villagers were Sunday engaged in a heated meeting held at Chisuma Business Centre.
Scores of villagers led by acting Chief Mvutu and Hwange West MP Godfrey Dube gathered at the same place where Morgan Sibanda and Dumisani Mpofu, both of Chisuma 2 were shot dead by two ZNA members last Wednesday.
The two soldiers; Bernard Sibanda and Bonang Nare have since appeared in court facing murder charges and were remanded in custody.
However, the ZNA has deployed more soldiers and literally imposed a curfew in the community as villagers are now terrified to move around especially at night.
Speaking during the meeting, villagers vowed to block army members from attending the funeral and said the temporary base at Chisuma Primary should also be dismantled.
The villagers said ZNA should instead revive a camp in the bush near the Zambezi River which was used by the army during the colonial era than to be within the community where its members allegedly spend the day drinking beer at the business centre.
The villagers also said local businessman Munya Mlauzi whose house they torched three days ago, should leave the area as he had also declared war against them by using the army to terrorise the community.
“We don’t want to see the soldiers at the funeral. In fact, they should leave the area. We are shocked that they didn’t waste time to replace the two who were arrested as a truck came to drop others a few days ago,” said a villager.
The two bereaved families are waiting for bodies to return from Bulawayo where they were taken for postmortem.
Acting Chief Mvutu said: “I know that we are angry but let’s calm down. That is why we are here for this meeting so we handle the issue well.”
MP Dube also said he was disappointed by the behaviour of the soldiers.
“I am very disappointed. I came to this place and saw traces of blood. The trigger pulled for nothing, the soldiers killed our brothers, the victims who were innocent. Yes, we have to protect the image of the country but that doesn’t mean we have to kill our people,” said Dube.