Western journalists, allowed into parts of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe for the first time in a month, are finding more evidence of killings and atrocities against villagers, allegedly carried out by the government's now notorious Fifth Brigade.
GV & PAN Car on road in Matabeleland.
GV & PAN & SVs Human remains. (6 shots)
GV & CU PULL BACK TO SV Woman pumping water. (2 shots)
GVs Graves of victims. (3 shots)
GVs People in remains of burnt-out village. (3 shots)
GV & PAN Government troops in armoured car.
SV Man speaking. (SOT)
SV Second man speaking. (SOT)
TRACKING SHOT FROM INSIDE CAR Going through road block. (2 shots)
GVs & LONG VIEWS Family packing up home to leave Zimbabwe. (3 shots)
VILLAGER: (SEQ 7) "Soldiers were... the Fifth Brigade was deployed here...it was harassing people and killing some. many people died here, been harassed by soldiers, killed and bayonetted by those knives of the guns. Some were shot dead."
2ND VILLAGER: (SEQ 8) "Then when the soldiers come they surround, just kill the people. They waited down there to the (indistinct) side...they kill the people they (indistinct)...people they killed. Women pregnant they just killed the (indistinct) they just put in the knife...they then say they killed inside, the child who (indistinct)."
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Background: Western journalists, allowed into parts of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe for the first time in a month, are finding more evidence of killings and atrocities against villagers, allegedly carried out by the government's now notorious Fifth Brigade. Most of the province was closed to correspondents when government troops moved in to hint out rebels loyal to self-exiled ZAPU-party leader, Joshua Nkomo. Although Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, who describes his Fifth Brigade as a first-class fighting unit, has denied all allegations, villagers in the area described how seven people died in the bush. They said troops ordered six young men off a bus, marched them into the bush and shot them, leaving the bodies to rot. A short distance away another body was found wrapped in an army blanket. Many villagers have graphic accounts of harassment, beating and killing by bayonet and gunshot. One man alleged brutal maiming of pregnant women. Women say their men folk are missing or dead. Throughout the province houses have been burned down and soldiers have shut down ZAPU party offices. In denying the atrocities, the government has blamed the dissidents they've hunting, saying Nkomo supporters are committing the acts to bring the government into disrepute. Zimbabwe's dwindling white population appears to have escaped the recent purges but many are sufficiently disturbed to pack up and leave the country. After three generations in Zimbabwe the McLean family is going. They, like others, are concerned that the national army cannot be relied on to maintain law and order.