Ivan Zhakata and Victor Maphosa
One Zanu PF Youth League member died on the spot while nine others were injured with two battling for life at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital after they were shot by guards manning offices at a housing scheme in Ushewokunze suburb, Harare South, on Thursday for allegedly trespassing.
The youths were reportedly coming from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport where they had gone to bid farewell to Malawian President Dr Lazarus Chakwera at the end of his two-day State visit.
When the youths arrived at a housing project, which is being developed by CFI Holdings, they were informed that one of their colleagues, identified as Tonderai Marongwe, had been arrested by guards manning the property in Ushewokunze.
It is said when they went to the CFI offices to inquire about their fellow Youth League member’s arrest, they were chased away by armed guards who fired shots.
Ten youths were resultantly hit by gunfire and one of them died on the spot while nine others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the shooting, saying two security guards had since been arrested.
Investigations into the matter are in progress.
“We confirm that one person was shot and died while other people were injured.
“Two guards have been picked by police in connection with the incident. It seems there was a dispute between some youths and some cooperative members which resulted in the shooting incident.
“Two guards are currently in police custody and investigations are in progress. Reports are that these guards are contracted by CFI. Nine suspects were arrested for criminal trespass, but what is clear is that there are land disputes in that area,” he said.
When The Herald arrived at the scene yesterday, Zanu PF youths were gathered outside the CFI offices singing revolutionary songs. They said the shootings were unfair as they did nothing wrong.
Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) secretary for economic affairs Zone 6, Cde Victor Mhazi Zindonda, narrated the circumstances.
Cde Zindonda alleged that the deceased was arrested for trespassing on CFI property after returning from the airport.
After being informed of the arrest of the deceased, the youths went to the CFI offices for inquiries where an altercation ensued with the guards.
“The youths came to me and told me that Tonderai Marongwe had been arrested by the guards at Cresta. We then went with other comrades to inquire on what had happened.
“We were not armed and I told my fellow comrades not to be violent. When we arrived we asked why they had arrested Tonderai and they refused to talk to us. They told us to wait while they made a phone call and to our surprise they opened fire,” he said.
Cde Zindonda said they were shocked by the guards’ actions as they had gone to the offices in peace.
Zanu PF acting national spokesperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa said he was not aware of the shootings.
“I do not have the facts yet. Whoever shot them has committed a criminal offence and must face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
When reached for comment, CFI company secretary Mr Panganayi Hare asked for written questions, but did not respond and was not reachable by the time of going to print.