Fidelis Munyoro  and Rumbidzayi Zinyuke
VICE President Constantino Chiwenga last night visited two members of the Zimbabwe National Army who are admitted at West End Hospital in Harare, following a shootout with two assailants in separate incidents in Chivhu.

Corporal Peter Zvirevo and Corporal Stanalious Chiunye were transferred to Harare for further management.

Corporal Zvirevo is critical and is admitted in the intensive care unit after undergoing an operation.

He was in the company of Lance Corporal Mupanganyama enforcing lockdown regulations in Chivhu when they were shot at a police post. Lance Corporal Mupanganyama died on admission at Chivhu General Hospital, while Zvirevo suffered multiple injuries.

Corporal Stanalious Chiunye was part of the army and police crack-team on an operation to arrest the two assailants when he was injured in a shootout with the duo that was eventually killed.

VP Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care Minister, was accompanied to West End Hospital by his deputy, Dr John Mangwiro.

VP talking to Corporal Stanalious Chiunye who was injured in the ensuing gun battle yesterday.

Speaking to journalists after interacting with the injured, VP Chiwenga expressed confidence that the two would recover quickly.

He commended the doctors for working round the clock to ensure the two were in a stable condition.

“I am satisfied that the doctors have done the best they can,” said VP Chiwenga. “The operation on Zvirevo went on well.”

VP Chiwenga hailed the security forces crack team that accounted for the assailants in less than 24 hours after the shootout.

“It is a great lesson to everyone in the country that such acts should not be done,” he said. “Anyone daring to do such evil acts would be accounted for.”

The Vice President expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Corporal Mupanganyama following his death. “We are really sorry about what happened,” he said. “We lost a fine young man dedicated to his duty. We lost a soldier who was doing his job, protecting people at a time we are fighting this invisible enemy, Covid-19. He was not suspecting anything at all. What is good is that the two fugitives have been accounted for.”

inside the police post in which two soldiers were attacked on Saturday. (Pictures: Believe Nyakudjara)

Dr Mangwiro said the two were recovering well. He said Corporal Zvirevo suffered multiple injuries and underwent a successful operation.

He said  Corporal Zvirevo had a bullet lodged in the abdomen, while his kidney was shattered and was removed.  His spleen and liver that had been damaged were treated.

The deputy minister said Corporal Chiunye was hit on the left leg and sustained a compound fracture.  He was expected to go for operation last night.

Meanwhile, Defence and War Veteran Affairs Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, said Zimbabwe’s security forces remain prepared to protect citizens and the country’s territorial integrity.

Speaking after a Provincial Coordinating Committee extraordinary meeting in Mutare yesterday, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said: “Because of the bravery of our soldiers and police, they were able to neutralise the assailants and kill the two.

The pit in which the two assailants were hiding during a shootout with members of the uniformed forces, 16km along Chivhu-Gutu Road.

“This should serve as a warning to criminals who try to tamper with our security forces that they will be met with equal force. Our soldiers and police are giving assurance to the nation that they will always protect our people and protect our territorial integrity.

“We are pleased that our police and members of the ZNA, working on a tip-off from the public, managed to track down the assailants to near Gutu. In trying to disarm the two, who were now armed with not only a pistol, but also two of our rifles, another soldier was injured when they opened fire. We understand that he is in a stable condition.”