The small police base in which two soldiers were shot

On Saturday 5 September 2020, two men attacked two Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) soldiers on routine Covid-19 lockdown enforcement patrol. The reason behind the attack remains unknown.

The attackers shot the two soldiers multiple times, one of them to death. The incident happened outside a Chivhu food court.


According to a memo released by the Zimbabwe Republic Police on 5 September 2020, the two soldiers Lorance Mupanganyama (30) and Peter Zvirevo (aged unknown), were part of a patrol team of security officers, who included police.

The two gunmen were said to have approached the police base in which the soldiers were in the company of their police colleagues.

One of the gunmen who was wearing a green Covid-19 face mask, a black bomber jacket, tattered blue jean trousers and black safety shoes, approached Lorance Mupanganyama and signalled him to meet him outside the Police base and he complied.

Upon discovering that the accused had told him that the accused was an EX member in the ZNA and not his superior as he anticipated, Mupanganyama was angered and went back into the police base where other members were.

The purported EX member followed Mupanganyama in the Police base talking to him on top of his voice.

All of a sudden the other gunman approached at the entrance of the Police base without saying anything and produced a corked pistol and started firing directly at the two army members.

The two gunmen proceeded to disarm the two soldiers and took away the two AK rifles and four fully charged magazines loaded with thirty rounds each. The gunmen got out of the police base and ran away in the eastern direction of the Police base and fled to an unknown destination.[1]


Lance Corporal Lorance Mupanganyama (30) and Corporal Peter Zvirevo (age unknown), both from ZNA 21 Reserve Force, Mount Darwin. Mupanganyama was killed in the attack whilst Zvirevo was injured.

Mupanganyama had “a gunshot wound on the nose which perforated through the head, a gunshot wound on the left palm and a gunshot wound which glazed on the chest”.

Zvirevo suffered “3 gunshot wounds on the back, 2 gunshot wounds on the left hand, and one gunshot wound on the abdomen”. [1] Zvirevo was admitted to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.[2]


Soldiers in two army trucks were immediately deployed to Chivhu as soon as reports of the shooting incident reached authorities in Harare.

They got into Chivhu at night on 5 September and waited for daybreak to revisit the scene together with officers from other law enforcement agencies.

A team consisting of the military and detectives from the ZRP’s Criminal Investigations Department then visited the crime scene at Innscor food court, where it immediately picked a spoor.

The gunmen had escaped into the bush using a pathway between the food court and Liebenberg Primary School at the edge of Chivhu town along the Harare-Masvingo Highway. The team followed the track combing nearby bushes for clues.

The search led them deep into the nearby forest. Along the way, they interviewed members of the public for information regarding the gunmen’s movements, asking them if they had come across any suspicious characters and if they were armed.

The task force is said to have used GPS technology to zero in on the position of the two gunmen.

The team was directed to where the two gunmen were hiding by a member of the public who had a speech impairment. The informant used hand signals to direct the team to where the two gunmen were hiding.[3]


A CID detective carrying the two AK47 rifles that were stolen in shooting incident

After a brief search, the team tracked the gunmen who were hiding on an anthill about 16 kilometres from Chivhu town along Gutu road.

When the gunmen realised that their position had been found, they retreated into a ditch seeking cover.

There was an exchange of fire for a few minutes. One of the gunmen knew how to operate a firearm as he was shooting manual and appeared to be using the AK47 assault rifle that they had stolen from the soldiers they had attacked the previous day.

The experienced gunman was shot and killed first.

The other one, who was said to be a novice, showing very little combat knowledge tried to escape, abandoning the ditch while continuing to shoot at the advancing team and again, he was shot a few metres from his colleague.

In the gunfight, Corporal Stanalious Chiunye who was leading the team was shot on the leg.[3]


Elliot Chihambakwe

Elliot Chihambakwe (46) was one of the gunmen. He was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on October 1, 1997, and was discharged from service on April 31, 2009, after a Board of Suitability was constituted because of his disciplinary record.

The other gunman was Elphas Jani (20). Both men were from Mukandatsama Village, under Chief Mazuru in Gutu, Masvingo. The two lived a short distance from each other.[4]


Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a strong warning saying that Government will not tolerate anyone who attacks, harms or kills any member of the security forces and anyone who dares cross the line would be severely punished.

He also paid tribute to members of the public for swiftly assisting the injured soldier.[5]

Constantino Chiwenga

Chiwenga in his capacity as Minister of Health and Child Care visited Zvirevo who was in the Intensive Care Unit at Parirenyatwa at the time. He also visited Corporal Stanaliius Chiunye who was injured in the shootout with the gunmen.[6]

Oppah Muchinguri

In her capacity as Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister, Muchinguri said the way soldiers had dealt with the Chivhu shooting incident should serve as a warning to those who want to temper with the peace prevailing in the country that they will be dealt with decisively.

She was speaking on the sidelines of a Zanu PF Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting held in Mutare.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Anna Chibamu, Soldier shot and killed, colleague injured as gunmen storm Chivhu police base,, Published: September 5, 2020, Retrieved: January 8, 2021
  2. Tony Karombo, Suspects in shooting death of Chivhu soldier killed in shoot-out, ZimLive, Published: Septenber 6, 2020, Retrieved: January 8, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 Leeroy Dzenga, Chivhu shooting: Details emerge, The Herald, Published: September 10, 2020, Retrieved: January 8, 2021
  4. Emmanuel Kafe, CHIVHU SHOOTING INCIDENT . . . Story of a psychopath and deranged machete-ganger, The Sunday Mail, Published: September 27, 2020, Retrieved: January 8, 2021
  5. Chivhu shooting: President issues strong warning, The Office of President and Cabinet, Published: September 8, 2020, Retrieved: January 8, 2021
  6. 6.0 6.1 Taboka Ncube, Criminals will be held accountable for their actions: VP Chiwenga, ZBC, Published: 2020, Retrieved: January 8, 2021