The commander of One Commando regiment in Harare was arrested last week for allegedly stealing army rations valued at more than $500 000.
Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore confirmed the arrest of Lieutenant-Colonel Enock Chivhima and said the matter was still before the courts.
Chivhima is the head of One Commando, the elite military wing of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and is the last line of defence in cases of insurgence or turmoil.
“The issues you have raised with reference to the arrest of Lieutenant-Colonel Enock Chivhima are still allegations as the case is now before the courts. The said officer has so far appeared twice before the courts; hence, the matter is still pending. It would be sub judice for army authorities to comment when the case was before the courts,” Makotore said.
According to sources, Chivhima, who is currently held at Chikurubi Remand Prison awaiting a court martial, allegedly stole foodstuffs and other accessories meant for junior soldiers over a long period.
“He used to divert foodstuff and other accessories meant for troops. The issue came to light after an internal audit which was prompted by complaints from junior officers that their rations were not enough,” a source told NewsDay.
Meanwhile, the army yesterday announced that they had together with the police arrested three bogus soldiers over various crimes.
“This brings the total number of arrested bogus soldiers to 22 since the beginning of the year,” Makotore said.
“The three are Talent Tamuka Kufaigore of Plot 1, Bluegrass Farm, Guruve, who was arrested in Harare central business district on May 22, 2019, Onasi Ndlovu of Killanery Squatter Camp, Bulawayo, who was nabbed on May 26, 2019 and Tendai Nyakabawo of house number 404, New Tafara, Mabvuku, apprehended on 28 May 2019,” the army spokesman said.
The military has previously accused members of the public of stealing military regalia to commit various offences raging from theft, murder, robbery and carjacking.
“The Zimbabwe National Army has noted with grave concern the increase in crimes being committed by these bogus soldiers. This is despite earlier notices for the public to surrender all military uniforms, military replicas and apparel to the nearest police stations or military camps,” Makotore said.