Massive Manhunt For Army Deserters

chiwengwaGwanda - Zimbabwe Intelligence Corps alongside the military police are involved in a massive track down operation targeting hundreds of men and women who deserted the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) at the height of political and economical turmoil a decade ago.

Reliable sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said captured soldiers were being subjected to torture which at times leads to death. The operation reportedly comes amid fears that deserters could be working with some political parties to topple Robert Mugabe.

There are fears that they may use their experience in the army to the advantage of the MDC hence an operation to recapture these soldiers, those caught are being subjected to severe interrogation and torture which at times leads to death, said a soldier at Mbalabala Army Barracks who requested not to be named.

In December last year Christmas shoppers in Gwanda had to scurry for cover after a member of the Intelligence Corps pulled out a gun while pursuing Butholezwe Khumalo who had left the army without procedure. Khumalo was a week later shot down in a suspicious armed robbery at a night club after he had escaped from torture.

Witnesses concurred the shot had been fired by an expert someone who had probably undergone military training. The formation of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front which has threatened a violent takeover of power has also sent panic among security chiefs who fear deserters are involved in the countrys politics. MDC T youths have also threatened to fight back should ZANU PF make a repeat of the bloody June 2008 elections.

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