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Dead army boss leaves trail of blood, tears



…gun-totting Mabenge was feared in Kwekwe

…records show how he murdered, assaulted at will 

KWEKWE residents have described the late retired Brigadier-General Benjamin Mabenge (pictured), who was this week accorded national hero status, as a man who left a trail of destruction, blood and tears with impunity.


Mabenge was buried at the National Heroes’ Acre on Wednesday.

He allegedly harassed, intimidated, assaulted and in some cases fired shots at those who trespassed into his farm located near Mbizo township.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa described him as a forthright man who was eloquent and would also discreetly record private conversations involving political actors.

The late army officer died last week after a long illness amid revelations that he could not afford proper medical facilities in Kwekwe. He succumbed to died at a health facility in Harare.

A former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation board member, Mabenge was infamously known in Kwekwe for threatening to shoot trespassers on his farm.

Those who spoke to The NewsHawks this week described the now deceased Mabenge as a ruthless military man who had blood on his hands.

Even journalists in Kwekwe also had a story to tell about Mabenge, saying he would threaten them to stop them from writing about his shenanigans.

Those found loitering on his farm, fishing or fetching firewood recounted his brutality. He also targeted opposition supporters as he was an active Zanu PF member in the Midlands city.

Mabenge took over Woodlands Farm, previously known KwaFiro, a cattle ranch boasting fertile arable land. He dismally failed to co-exist with residents.

Records show that in 2007 Mabenge was briefly arrested after allegedly fatally shooting an opposition MDC-T activist while critically injuring another one in the process.

The MDC-T accused the much-feared Mabenge of fatally shooting Clement Takaendesa and seriously wounding Taurai Chigede.

Mbizo member of Parliament Settlement Chikwinya this week confirmed Mabenge’s atrocities, adding that although they have respect for the dead, his acts of cruelty will not be forgotten.

Kwekwe is a politically volatile city, with mainly Zanu PF-linked perpetrators being left scot-free despite the overwhelming evidence against them.

Mabenge was arrested but never faced trial.

Chikwinya this week narrated how ruthless Mabenge was and how he led a reign of terror in the gold-rich city.

“The late Mabenge leaves behind footprints of violence and terror within the Kwekwe community,” Chikwinya said.

“Quick to come to our minds is the murder and disabling injury of brothers Takaendesa and Tapera Chigede, who were shot while fishing in Mbembeswani River that flows across his farm.”

A woman was also shot and injured while fetching firewood on his farm. Various residents of Mbizo were assaulted after being caught fetching firewood on his farm.

Mabenge is also accused of hounding opposition supporters out of their workplaces, saying no one should employ those “selling out the country”.

“While we are quick to forgive the dead, we are not that quick to forget. The acts of impunity of these Zanu PF chefs is prevalent in Kwekwe and they get away with murder.

“Police are so fearful to arrest or even open cases for prosecution.”

Chikwinya claimed the late former army boss stood up to Mnangagwa at some point, even challenging him to a fistfight over some “differences”.

“The only thing we are grateful for with regards to Mabenge is that he stood up against Mnangagwa to the extent of openly challenging him even to a fistfight at some point.”

A female journalist also took to social media to narrate her ordeal at the hands of Mabenge who threatened her for investigating a case in which he had allegedly assaulted a person.

She said she called Mabenge seeking “clarity” on the assault case, but was surprised that she ended up being the one being accosted by the police.

“When I got there (at the police station), I was told my charge was threatening Mabenge. I could not help but laugh at that charge. Me, threatening a highly decorated ‘Russian-trained’ soldier who was well-known for meting out ‘instant justice’ to Mbizo residents who trespassed into his farm.”

After meeting Mabenge, the journalist said the former army boss said: “You want to write about me assaulting someone, yet in fact I have killed?”

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