WASHINGTON D.C. —
More than 50 armed police officers on Friday raided the Chinyamukwakwa Village in Chipinge in Manicaland province, in search of alleged stolen goods from the controversial company, Greenfuel.
The goods included a global positioning system (GPS) gadget.
Villagers told VOA Studio 7 they were not impressed by the 3:00 am military-style raid which did not yield any results.
“The police came and raided our homes very early in the morning,” said one villager who did not want to be named.
“Women were messing themselves because they were scared to hell and other villagers were half-naked with the police violating them for something called GPS. So many armed officers as if we are in a war situation only to recover some stolen goods which they did not find anyway.”
Some half-naked villagers are said to have run away from their homes in the melee as they did not know what was going on. But the police searched their homes anyway.
The organization Platform for Youth Development, which is active in the area, condemned the police raid.
“It defies logic that so many police officers would descend on unarmed villagers in such fashion all in the name of a GPS,” said Sally Nobuhle Mlambo of the Platform for Youth Development.
She says the raids left the community devastated.
Mlambo said relations between the villagers and the fuel company have now reached an all-time low following the raid.
Two villagers, Muchatiroto Mashava and his son Gondai, were allegedly handcuffed briefly while the police searched their properties.
Nothing was found in their homes.
VOA Studio 7 failed to reach both the Chisumbanje police and the Green Fuel company for comment.