Two security guards were arrested after they reportedly shot a Zanu PF youth who was amongst the ruling party supporters who Thursday converged at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to bid farewell to Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera at the end of his two-day visit.
The deceased was allegedly killed for trespassing the premises of a CFI-owned housing scheme in Ushewokunze suburb while nine other youths who had accompanied him in solidarity with a one Tonderai Marongwe who had also been arrested by the guards, were admitted to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital after sustaining injuries in the attack.
According to reports, when the Zanu PF youths besieged the CFI offices to enquire about Marongwe’s fate, they were chased away by the armed security guards who fired shots at the fleeing youths.
Ten of the youths were allegedly hit by gunfire from the resultant shooting with one person dying on the spot while nine others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
“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,” said national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
“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”.
On Friday, hordes of Zanu PF youths belting out party jingles could be seen milling around the CFI offices, according to the state media.
The disgruntled youths described the shootings as unfair, saying they did nothing wrong.
While outlining the circumstances surrounding the shooting, Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) secretary for economic affairs Zone 6, Victor Mhazi Zindonda, said they were surprised when the guards opened fire.
He said the deceased was arrested for trespassing on CFI property after returning from the airport.
Zindoga also revealed that after having been informed of the victim’s arrest, the youths went to the CFI offices where an altercation involving the guards reportedly ensued.
“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”.
When contacted, Zanu PF acting national spokesperson 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,” said Chinamasa.
Panganayi Hare, the CFI company secretary, asked for written questions which he could not promptly respond to.
additional reporting: Zwnews