HARARE – Two suspects in Saturday’s shooting incident in which a soldier was killed and a second critically wounded have been gunned down in a joint operation by the military and detectives from the ZRP’s Criminal Investigations Department.
The two men, who have not been named, were found camped in the bush some 20km outside Chivhu town on Sunday morning, according to police sources. This came after police earlier said two men pictured under arrest and widely circulated as the suspected killers had been arrested for an unrelated crime.
It is claimed there was a brief exchange of gunfire, during which a soldier in the search party was injured.
The two suspects were subsequently killed and their bodies loaded on the back of a police pick-up truck.
Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they would be issuing a statement later Sunday.
Lance Corporal Mupanganyama and Corporal Zvirevo were shot inside a small makeshift police station called Innscor Police Base in central Chivhu, Mashonaland Central.
Mupanganyama died on the spot after being shot in the face, and Zvirevo is in a critical condition at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.
The motive for the attack remains unknown.
Police said Zvirevo and Mupanganyama, after patrolling the streets of Chivhu since 8AM in the company of four police officers, retreated to the police base near a Chicken Inn fast food outlet. The two soldiers were armed with AK47 rifles.
While at the police base, police said a man wearing a green face mask, a black bomber jacket, tattered blue jean trousers and black safety shoes approached and signalled Mupanganyama to meet him outside.
An internal police memo said Mupanganyama had assumed that the man summoning him was his superior, and was furious when the man introduced himself as a former soldier. He stormed off and went back inside the police base.
“The purported ex-member followed the deceased into the police base talking to the deceased on top of his voice. All of a sudden, the other accused approached at the entrance of the police base and without saying anything he produced a corked pistol and started firing directly at the two army members. Sensing danger, a female police officer took cover under the visitors’ bench,” the memo from the Criminal Investigations Department said.
The two attackers “automatically disarmed the two soldiers and took away the two AK47 rifles and four fully-charged magazines loaded with 30 rounds each” before walking out of the police base while pointing the rifles in the air.
“People started running in different directions for their safety. The accused persons ran away to a nearby bush east of the police base and disappeared,” police said.