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Shutdown: Soldier in court for public violence

A soldier who was allegedly shot by a Bulawayo businessman as he was suspected to be part of a gang that attempted to burn down Ashes Service Station in Nkulumane 12 suburb has appeared in court.

Ntandoyenkosi Moyo, 27 was shot in the abdomen by Mr Ashton Mpofu before he was allegedly bundled into a black car without registration numbers and driven by his two colleagues, Tafadzwa Mhou and Washington Chididi believed to be soldiers.

Moyo’s colleagues returned to the scene after a couple of hours and were identified by members of the public leading to their arrest.

Police officers discovered that Mhou was also a soldier, with the rank of private and stationed at One Brigade.

Moyo appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube in a court held at his bedside at Mater Dei Hospital on charges of public violence.

He was remanded in custody to February 5 pending trial.

Prosecuting, Ms Sibekithemba Dube said on January 15, Moyo who was among a group of protesters allegedly threw three stones at Mr Moyo and his security personnel before invading his business.

“The accused person unlawfully and intentionally disturbed peace, security or order of the public or invaded the rights of other people realising that there was a possibility that such disturbances may occur. The accused person threw stones at Ashton Moyo and his security personnel and invaded his business premises and set on fire three trucks,” said Ms Dube.

It is alleged that Moyo torched three trucks which were parked at the garage.

The businessman was also charged with attempted murder.

Some business owners in suburbs such as Emganwini, Nketa, Sizinda, Entumbane, Mpopoma and Nkulumane said gangs that led the vandalism and looting of their shops were mainly outsiders.

The majority of shops in the affected areas were vandalised or burnt down.

A number of business owners said they were facing an uncertain future because they owed suppliers thousands of dollars and may not be able to restock.

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