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Rights group, police issues contradicting statements on killings by Vic Falls soldiers 

Staff Writer

THE police and ZimRights have issued contradicting statements on the reasons behind the shooting of two male cousins at Chisuma Business Center recently indicating the need for inclusive investigations on the matter.

The incident which has irked rights groups in the country who are beginning to raise alarm over an increase in what they have described as “extra-judicial killings” (the act of killing for reasons outside the call of duty ) is one among many recent ones.

Official reports confirm that Zimbabwean soldiers and police used “unjustified and disproportionate” force to kill 6 people during election protests in August 2018.

Twelve more people were shot during protests which rocked the country in January 2019.

Last month the military was fingered in Chivhu shootings which resulted in the loss of lives.

In a recent update ,the rights organisation said it has learnt that on the evening of the 30th of September, members of the ZNA fatally shot two people after an exchange of words while drinking beer.

“The deceased identified as Dumisani Mpofu and Morgan Zhuzha are both from Kachechete village ward 3 under Chief Mvuthu about 25km eastern side of Victoria Falls town. Mpofu died on the spot, while Zhuzha reportedly died in an ambulance to Victoria Falls hospital,” the rights group said.

It was reported that the soldiers have been camped at a nearby primary school since the introduction of the national lockdown in March.

“ZimRights continues to note with concern, the increased extrajudicial killings by the police,” the update said.

However, Zimbabwe Republic Police national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi quickly defended the killings of the deceased for attempting to disarm the gunmen.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is investigating the circumstances in which two suspects tried to disarm members of the security services who were on anti-smuggling deployments in Victoria Falls on 30 September 2020 resulting in a shooting incident and deaths of two suspects,” he said.

He said the the security services team was at Chisuma Business Centre, at 7:30pm monitoring anti-smuggling activities and dispersing people who had gathered in contravention of Covid-19 regulations and  one of the suspects assaulted a security service member and then tried to disarm him resulting in the scuffle.

Nyathi said investigations into the incident are underway as he warned members of the public against attacking security services members.

In a related incident which took place last month in Chivhu, the ZRP also accused another duo, which was later hunted down and arrested for disarming the security details.

//ENDS//

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