Chaos as ZNA soldier runs amok and bashes innocent civilians in Hwange, stabs one of them


A SOLDIER stationed at the Zimbabwe National Army’s 1.2 Infantry Battalion in Hwange allegedly turned a bar in the town into a war zone where he pummelled patrons on several occasions and stabbed one of them. He went on a spree of beating up people from January 30 up to Sunday this week when he was eventually nabbed.

Benson Gwenzi (29) of 371 Empumalanga appeared before Hwange magistrate, Ms Barbara Phiri.

He was not asked to plead to four counts of assault.

The magistrate remanded Gwenzi out of custody on his own cognisance to tomorrow for start of trial.

Prosecuting, Mr Vumizulu Mangena said Gwenzi sometimes teamed up with friends to assault patrons.

He allegedly committed the crimes between January 30 this year and Sunday when he beat up a neighbour after losing a snooker game.

In the first two counts, Gwenzi and his friend only identified as Captain Nyoni, blocked an entrance to the toilet at the bar and beat up two women who insisted on using the bathroom.

“On January 30 and at KoMpofu Bar in Hwange, the complainant Ms Bonginkosi Ndlovu (34) and her friend Ms Immaculate Mumpande (23), both from Empumalanga, were going to the toilet and found Captain Nyoni blocking the way. The two complainants had a misunderstanding with Captain Nyoni and the accused approached them whereupon he slapped both of them twice on the face,” said the prosecutor.

The court was told that on February 2 while at the same bar, Gwenzi beat up Mr Majahana Moyo.

It is alleged that Gwenzi had a misunderstanding with Mr Moyo’s friend, Mr Job Mudenda.

Mr Moyo tried to restrain the two and this did not go down well with the accused who slapped him once, the court was told. Mr Moyo tried to flee from the scene and Gwenzi allegedly picked a half brick and hit him on the back.

Mr Moyo fell face down. Gwenzi allegedly advanced and continued beating him up. His unnamed friends ganged up and started kicking Mr Moyo as he lay on the ground.

Gwenzi allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed Mr Moyo on the palm as he tried to block punches from his attackers.

Mr Moyo sustained injuries on the face and right palm. On Sunday, Gwenzi was playing snooker with his neighbour Mr Fungai Chimutu at the same bar.

Gwenzi was angered after losing the game to Mr Chimutu. He took Mr Chimutu’s two samoosas and ate them without paying.

The court heard that Mr Chimutu asked for his money but instead Gwenzi punched him on the face before slamming him against the wall.

Mr Chimutu was treated at St Patrick’s Hospital.

— Chronicle

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