Military commanders at the Air Force Of Zimbabwe’s Josiah Tungamirai (formerly Thornhill) Air Base in Gweru are alleged to have refused to hand over a soldier who shot and killed a civilian. The commanders are reported to have prevented the police from arresting the soldier in question.
The soldier, Staff Sergeant Evidence Makuyana, was on patrol when he came across Ziyesa Tsvetera’s vehicle, which was parked near the perimeter fence of the Air Base. When Makuyana and his colleague approached the car to question the driver, Tsvetera panicked and raced away.
The staff sergeant fired three warning shots in the air, but Tsvetera did not stop. After the three warning shots, Makuyana fired two shots at the vehicle. The two soldiers then followed Tsvetera in another vehicle and discovered that he had been hit.
He was transported to Gweru General Hospital, where he was admitted. However, he later succumbed to his injuries. After ferrying the now deceased to Hospital, Makuyana filed a police report at Gweru Central Police Station.
According to a police memo, the military commanders at the airbase partially cooperated with the police as they refused to release Staff Seargent Makuyana into the custody of the law enforcement officers.
Below is part of the police memo:
Accused is a member of the Airforce of Zimbabwe Stationed at Josiah Tungamirai Airforce Base, Gweru and was on guard duties armed with a Service AK Rifle folding butt Serial Number ZA 37512 loaded with a magazine of 30 rounds.
On 25 December 2021 at around 0100 hours the accused in the company of his workmate Spencer Chihanga N.R [Redacted] aged 23, Rank: Private, Force number [Redacted] were doing perimeter checks. They spotted the now deceased who had parked his motor vehicle, a Toyota Hiace Omnibus registration number AFF 9797 silver in colour at Lingfield turn off along Gweru-Mvuma Road adjacent to the perimeter fence of Josiah Tungamirai Airbase.
The accused approached the vehicle intending to inquire as to who he was and his business at that site. Upon being approached the now deceased switched on the vehicle in an attempt to drive off.
At that moment accused fired three warning shots into the air ordering the now deceased to stop. The now-deceased ignored the orders and drove the vehicle onto the main road resulting in the accused firing two shots directed at the vehicle. The now-deceased did not stop and drove away from the scene towards Gweru C.B.D.
The accused and his colleague Spencer Chihanga sought the services of Stanley Muvhavhauri N.R [Redacted], male aged 36 of [Redacted], Athlone, Gweru who was driving his Nissan Navara registration number AES 2019 towards Gweru to chase and block the deceased’s vehicle.
They caught up with the deceased at Riverside Roundabout, Gweru and managed to block him. They then realised that the now deceased had been shot at the back and was bleeding from the wound.
They then took now deceased to Gweru Provincial Hospital and later on made a report at Gweru Central Police Station.
Investigations Carried Out
• Scene was attended by both CID and DUB members.
• Three spent cartridges were picked from the scene.
• The fire arm used was recovered with a Magazine of 25 rounds.
• Complainant was visited at Hospital and his condition is serious.
• It was noted that complainant’s vehicle had two gunshot holes near the driver’s door.
• Next of kin Vimbai Mutero who is complainant’s wife was advised.
• The accused made indications to police in the presence of his commanders who however have refused to release the accused to police.
• The complainant (now deceased) succumbed to the gun-shot wounds while admitted at Gweru General Hospital.
• No further clues were found at the scenes during indications.
• To send the fire arm and spent cartridges to Ballistics.
• To send the deceased to United Bulawayo Hospital for post mortem.
• To arrest the accused person and compile a court docket.
Matter is being investigated under ZRP Gweru Central CR 330/12/21 and CID Law and Order Gweru DR 01/01/22 refer.