Government will not tolerate anyone who attacks, harms or kills any member of the security forces and anyone who dares cross the line will be severely punished, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), Cde Mnangagwa has said.
Commenting on the two assailants who on Saturday stormed a police base in Chivhu and attacked soldiers who were enforcing Covid-19 guidelines resulting in an army personnel being killed while another was injured, the President paid tribute to members of the public for swiftly assisting the injured soldier.
A swift response from a combined force of the country’s military and law enforcement agents resulted in the assailants, who were armed with AK47 rifles being shot dead as they tried to evade arrest on Sunday.
In a statement yesterday, President Mnangagwa described the killing of the soldiers, who are part of frontline workers enforcing regulations that the Government announced to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, as “cowardly and senseless”.
“It is with a deep sense of shock and great sadness that I learnt about the Chivhu shooting incident on Saturday afternoon which claimed the life of one serving member of the Zimbabwe National Army, Lance Corporal Lorance Mapunganyama, and left the second member Corporal Peter Zvirevo, with serious gunshot injuries.
“The cowardly and senseless attack by an assailant on the two soldiers who were enforcing lockdown measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the deadly Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) at the police base near the Chivhu Chicken Inn, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms by all peace-loving Zimbabweans.
“Government will not tolerate anyone who attacks, harms or kills any member of the security establishment, let alone disarming and unlawfully taking arms of war in their possession. Any breach of this nature will attract severe punishment,” said the President.
The President lauded the public in Chivhu for helping the injured soldier, saying it was a sign of how highly the country’s servicemen are regarded in the communities where they are deployed.
“The role played by members of the public at the Chivhu crime scene when they rendered help to the injured soldier and took them to the nearest health facility, is highly commendable and exemplary.
“Their actions were a show of great compassion and high respect for the work our soldiers do to ensure national security and a demonstration of the spirit of Ubuntu that has come to characterise our nation.
“On behalf of Government, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), and on my own behalf, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Lance Corporal Mupanganyama on his untimely death. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
“In the same breath, I wish speedy recovery to Corporal Peter Zvirevo who sustained injuries during the attack and to Corporal Stanalious Chiunye, who was shot yesterday, in the course of apprehending the suspected assailants. Our hearts and prayers are with all affected families,” said the President.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) national chairperson Cde Chris Mutsvangwa yesterday saluted the country’s Defence Forces for swiftly apprehending the bandit.
“There was an incident in Chivhu a few days ago, where bandits killed a member of our army. We extend condolences to the family of the deceased member. We also condemn any people who resort to any form of banditry and we are most relieved and delighted that true to tradition, our Defence and Security Forces followed up on these wayward gangsters, bandits and they were accounted for,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.