Soldiers go on the rampage in Harare South

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Soldiers descended on Hopley Farm just outside the capital and beat up residents, resulting in numerous injuries, according to protesters’ reports.

While the army could not be reached for a comment, protesters said the soldiers accused residents of siding with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) in a perceived Zanu PF stronghold.

Hopley Farm, a sprawling low income suburb set up in southwest Harare after the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina that government embarked on to purportedly get rid of illegal structures, is part of the settlements established by the government and Zanu PF heavyweights.

Zanu PF officials in Harare South have allocated houses and land to people on condition they vow their loyalty to Zanu PF.

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But things are changing now. Protests are spreading to Hopley, Westlea and Ushewokunze in Harare South. People are sick and tired of promises as they swim in poverty,” said one civil activist who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

He said the soldiers invaded the suburb around 3am on Monday and indiscriminately beat up residents, with the injured being taken to the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) in the capital which over the years has provided medication and rehabilitation to victims of torture.

Injured residents included Vengai Chingoriwo, Davison Mangena, Tatenda Kadzitongi.

A named six-week toddler was reportedly caught up in the melee and also taken to CSU.

Meanwhile, other reports indicated that soldiers sprawled through drinking places during the weekend in Chitungwiza and intimidated patrons.

Soldiers are increasingly getting involved as part of the State security machinery to respond to citizen protests against President Robert Mugabe’s government which stands accused of failed leadership.

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