An explosion which rocked Gweru Rural Police Station last week, sending tremors across the central business district, was caused by a suspected war time anti-tank mine planted inside the station.
According to a memorandum from the police, the explosion, which occurred at the police station at the corner of Leopold Takawira Road and Eighth Street uprooted a huge tree and left several vehicles’ windscreens shattered.
It also affected surrounding buildings.
It is suspected that the anti-tank mine could either have been buried or planted during the liberation struggle.
“This memorandum serves to put on record circumstances surrounding the explosion,” reads part of the memorandum. “Circumstances are that on September 27 at around 1000hrs, Master Ndirwo (46), a general hand at ZRP Gweru Rural Police station was burning litter which was in a rubbish pit near the perimeter fence of the police station.
“The pit is about 25 metres from the charge office. At around 1445hrs, Ndirwo went to put out the fire that had spread out of the pit towards the fence. When he was about four meters towards the pit, an explosion occurred in the direction of the pit.
“He managed to flee from the scene unhurt.”
Zimbabwe National Army engineers attended the scene and suspected that the explosion was a result of an anti-tank mine because of the magnitude of the explosion’s impact which uprooted a big jacaranda tree stump and shook nearby buildings.
“There were no fragments of the anti-tank at the blast scene,” reads part of the memorandum. “The explosion could have been a result of the heat generated by fire and sun. They also stated that the anti-tank mine has no life span, that is, it remains armed as long as it has not exploded.
“Seven cars, which were parked along 8th Street closer to the scene had their windscreens and door glasses shattered by fragments from the uprooted tree stump. Ceiling paint of the charge office peeled off as a result of the tremor. Five roofing tiles at Lutheran Church situated about 120 meters from the scene were hit by fragments from the blast and fell inside the church.
“Heritage Housing Project building situated along 8th Street, about 30 metres from the scene had some of its windows shattered,”
Acting Midlands police provincial spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said she was still to receive details of the explosion.