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Army speaks on the fatal shooting of an innocent civilian on the 16th of January

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ZNA director of public relations Colonel Alphios Makotore

Army speaks on the fatal shooting of an innocent civilian on the 16th of January. Tatenda Munetsiwa was shot dead by soldiers who were reacting to a report of the theft of copper cables by a machete-wielding gang on a fateful day.

The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has described the fatal shooting of Tatenda Munetsiwa by 52 Infantry Battalion soldiers in Guinea Fowl, near Gweru on January 16 as a case of mistaken identity.

In a statement released this Friday, ZNA director of public relations Colonel Alphios Makotore said soldiers at Guinea Fowl Army Base were despatched to apprehend a group of thieves cutting telephone copper wire following a report by William Shoko and Simon Muzondo.

Unbeknown to the military patrol, a group of civilians had already set an ambush to apprehend the suspected thieves. Said Makotore: Meanwhile, a group of civilians which had, among them the now deceased Munetsiwa had already set up its own ambush to try and apprehend the reported copper wire thieves.

Unbeknown to each other, the soldiers’ patrol and the civilian group ambush teams were working for a common purpose to apprehend the copper wire thieves.

However, as fate would have it, the two groups later clashed as they each other of being the suspected copper wire thieves. Circumstances are that when the soldiers got into the ambush, they thought the copper wire thieves wanted to disarm them.

To resist being disarmed by these civilians who were armed with machetes and iron bars, the armed soldiers had no option but to open fire resulting in the unfortunate death of Munetsiwa and the injury of three others.

… As such they sprung from the ambush intending to subdue and apprehend the soldiers.  To demonstrate that this was an unfortunate incident, both the civilian group and the soldiers’ patrol reported at Guinea Fowl Base what had transpired during the incident.

The civilians reported that they had been attacked by armed robbers, while the soldiers also reported that they had been ambushed by an armed group of copper wire thieves.

Makotore urged members of the public to avoid speculation until thorough investigations into the incident are carried out.

Source – Pindula News

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