HARARE – Five people were shot dead and three others critically injured when a soldier opened fire from an AK47 in a booze-fuelled bar row on Christmas Day, police said.
Police have not named the soldier involved in the gun rampage outside PaGreen bar at Wanganui Business Centre in Mhondoro-Ngezi.
National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the soldier arrived at the bar with an AK47 loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition before asking a bar lady to store it behind a counter.
Sometime during the evening, the soldier who was drinking beer was confronted by local villager Brian Mutero, who accused him of proposing love to his 14-year-old daughter.
As the row escalated, some locals also allegedly joined in and the soldier picked up his gun and fired two shots in the air before turning the assault rifle on the crowd of his accusers who were randomly shot.
Police named the dead as Ignatius Kumire, 39, Yolanda Mwale, 28, Mavhure Makiwa, 22, Godknows Takaendesa, 25, and Motion Chanaka, 30.
The three people wounded in the attack are being treated at Chegutu District Hospital.
Nyathi said: “Our investigations are ongoing. The suspect has not yet been arrested and must be considered armed and dangerous.”
Locals said soldiers were regular drinkers at the bar which is close to a military facility, and sometimes came armed.