Two soldiers were reportedly killed while another one is battling for life at Bindura Provincial Hospital after machete-wielding artisanal miners pounced on them following a dispute over sex workers at Chiwaridzo, in Bindura yesterday morning.
Mashonaland Central police spokesperson Inspector Milton Mundembe confirmed the incident, but could not give details.
“Yes, two soldiers were killed by machete-wielding gold panners, but investigations are still in progress and we are yet to establish what really transpired,” Mundembe said.
A witness, Nyasha Muwomba alleged that the soldiers clashed with artisanal miners who thought they would lose out on some commercial sex workers at a local bar, resulting in a bloody fight that claimed the life of the two soldiers.
“These soldiers were killed by jealous gold panners who did not want them to snatch their commercial sex workers. They were fatally struck on the neck, faces and back and died on the spot. The survivor is in critical condition,” Muwomba said.
Another source who declined not to be named told NewsDay that after the killings, a team of police and soldiers went on the rampage, harassing sex workers and force-marching them to the police station for questioning as they hunted for the culprits.
The soldiers were allegedly part of the team that was taking part in rehearsals for Independence Day celebrations to be held in the town tomorrow.
NewsDay could not establish the names of the deceased by the time of going to print.