POLICE have arrested three soldiers for allegedly shooting and killing a 37-year-old member of the Zion Christian Church at a prayer site close to their camp in Beitbridge border town.
The area is located a few metres from the One Independence Barracks where army servicemen are stationed.
It is a route popular with smugglers and border jumpers entering or leaving the country via the Limpopo River.
The Officer Commanding Beitbridge district, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo, confirmed the incident which happened on Saturday at about 8PM.
“We have three suspects in custody who are assisting us with investigations. They will soon appear in court charged with murder,” he said.
The Chronicle understands that the now deceased, Jevas Masvina of Stauze suburb (formerly Ma-two rooms), was among eight congregants from the Zion Christian Church headed for a night vigil on a mountain near the army base when tragedy struck.
It is reported that the soldiers had a confrontation with the congregants.
Sources close to investigations said Masvina was heading to church along with other church members when they disembarked from a vehicle which seemed to have been overwhelmed by a load of passengers.
“Along the way they came across three armed men who were wearing clothes resembling those of Zimbabwe National Army soldiers.
“The suspects (soldiers) then ordered Masvina and his colleagues to surrender and lie down, but instead the congregants picked stones and charged at the armed men suspecting them to be armed robbers.
“The suspected soldiers then fired two shots and unfortunately Masvina was shot on the left rib cage and died on the scene.
“Realising that they had killed the man, the trio vanished into darkness and the matter was in turn reported to the police,” said an official close to the case.