Nhamo Dube (19) (not his real name) was beaten with both with open hands and the butt of a gun and had his finger bitten before being forced to drink an unknown liquid to force him to divulge who had sent him to spy on the recruitment exercise.
Dube told The Zimbabwean that he had last week turned up for recruitment together with several others at 3 Infantry Brigade.
Dube said applicants were asked to line up according to districts they came from. When they eventually attended to the Mutare central district, Dube was singled out and taken to a dark room by two soldiers in army uniform.
He was quizzed by two men in plain clothes who accused him of spying on behalf of Mutasa central MDC MP Trevor Saruwaka and helping to remove Oppah Muchinguri from the constituency in the last elections.
Dube’s application papers were torn before the two men started assaulting him and threatening to shoot him.
Dube denied spying, but said he wanted to join the army because that was his greatest passion.
The two men told him: “soldiers are not civil servants but they work for Zanu (PF).”
They threatened to get rid of all the youths perceived to be MDC-T supporters adding that they were not going to recruit anyone from Mutasa Central Constituency because it was an MDC-T zone.
Dube was released the following morning after being forced to clean up the area where the torture had taken place.
“I am traumatised by those experiences. My dream of becoming a soldier has been shattered and I do not know what to do next.”
Saruwaka described the incident as unfortunate, saying soldiers were supposed to defend people.
He regretted the army recruitment processes was based on partisan politics.
Saruwaka warned his party would fight back, saying ‘we will not fold our arms watching innocent people being brutalised.’
Chris Ndlovu, a human rights lawyer, called for the matter to be taken seriously, adding: “It is actually frightening.”Post published in: News