HomeOpinionZNA discharges acquitted soldiers

Non-violent mass action feasible in Zim

NINE soldiers who were acquitted last year on allegations of going on a rampage in Harare and looting goods from shops, beating up illegal foreign currency dealers and robbing them of their money, have been discharged from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA).

Last year, the soldiers were acquitted by a court martial because of lack of sufficient evidence linking them to the mutinous behaviour.

However, despite their acquittal a source in the army said they were cashiered under administrative discharge last December.

The source said: “The soldiers were acquitted in January 2009 because of lack of evidence but in December the same year they received letters informing them that their services in the army were no longer needed and their dismissal was based on administrative charges.

“Dismissal on administrative charges is usually given when one is incompetent, for instance coming to work late, not following orders or just not performing well at work. It’s surprising as to why all were dismissed at once. This has raised suspicion that someone really wanted to see them gone and the administrative reason was just an excuse.”

ZNA spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Everson Mugwisi did not respond to questions he asked from the Zimbabwe Independent pertaining to the matter at the time of going to print last night.

The soldiers allegedly went into Harare’s CBD and stole food, clothes and harassed illegal foreign currency dealers who they blamed for the then hyperinflation.

Wongai Zhangazha

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