SEVEN senior soldiers have been detained for the past three months without trial after they were accused of stealing donations meant for victims of Cyclone Idai and food rations for army recruits, it has emerged.
Lieutenant Colonel Chivhima, Major Kativhu training coy, Major Masembura, Captain Ncube, Woll Dzoma and a S/Sergeant Madzore are being held at the Harare Remand Prison under military supervision.
There are allegations that they are being kept in leg irons and at times are denied access to bathing facilities.
According to a letter written by their lawyers Chiturumani and Zvavanoda Law Chambers to the Zimbabwe National Army’s legal department dated August 1, the soldiers are contemplating approaching the High Court to fight for their freedom.
The lawyers want the army to explain why the soldiers were denied bail during a court martial.
“We have been favoured with instructions by seven accused persons currently undergoing a court martial/ military court trial for theft and abuse of office charges kindly note our interest,” the lawyers wrote.
“Our instructions are to demand within the next seven days from today (01/08/19) the availing of those reasons denying them bail to us or at your clerk for our convenience.”
Chivhima is accused of stealing 200 litres of fuel in Chimanimani, which was meant for Cyclone Idai relief efforts.
He was also charged together with Kativhu, Masembura, Ncube, Dzoma and Madzore on allegations that they stole rations at the Zimbabwe Commando regiment stores.
The rations included mealie meal, rice, cooking oil, eggs, vegetables, meat, fruits, potatoes and sausages, among other items.
Chivhima would allegedly demand rations from Madzore who in turn raised fake invoices before sending a barman employed by the Defence ministry. The barman used a wheelbarrow to move the loot.
The senior soldier would also allegedly instruct Madzore to issue extra rations to Kativhu, who is responsible for the training of recruits at the Wafawafa camp.
It is alleged Chivhima and Kativhu would exchange the rations with fish they got from fish mongers.