Police, military blame army violence on civilians
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and other security services say they have noted with concern a disturbing trend from a few misguided members of the public, who are engaging in counter-productive acts of vengeful retribution against perceived political elements.
In a joint statement, ZDF director Public Relations Colonel Overson Mugwisi and ZRP spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said, there are individuals and groups who are continuing to organise unsanctioned retribution-related demonstration contrary to the spirit of the new political dispensation.
“Members of the public are warned against seeking the services of the ZDF to settle old personal scores taking advantage of the ongoing Operation Restore Legacy. Such cases are clearly a violation of the law,” read the statement.
They said there are also some malicious individuals abusing the social media to generate and circulate inflammatory content that potentially causes unnecessary alarm and despondency within the defence and security services “with the ultimate objective of disturbing the prevailing peace and stability in the country.”
“In this regard, members of the public are warned against such acts of political retribution targeting fellow Zimbabweans,” they said.
Colonel Mugwisi and Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba said such conduct is prohibited as per His Excellency, the President’s inaugural speech of 24 November 2017.
They said investigations are underway as information has it that some impostors masquerading as ZDF members are creating some of the video footage that has been circulated on the social media.
Colonel Mugwisi and Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba refuted false social media messages suggesting that the defence forces are planning to raid brothels, food vendors and related illegal ventures, saying the responsibility of law enforcement remains in the hands of the ZRP and local authorities enforcements systems.
“The general public is advised to be wary and expect more of these falsehoods peddled by individuals with malicious intentions,” they said.
The statement further said members of the defence forces deployed across the country are under strict instructions to remain vigilant and professional in the discharge of their duties during the ongoing operation and beyond.
The public has also been advised to report any untoward or suspicious behaviour by any member of the defence forces and other security services.