The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have expressed concern over messages and footage detailing alleged assaults on civilians by soldiers, and have set up standby teams to swiftly respond to such incidences.
Addressing a joint news conference in Harare this evening, ZRP National Spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba and ZDF Director of Public Relations, Colonel Overson Mugwisi condemned all forms of violence and assured the nation that investigations are underway to bring perpetrators of the alleged assaults to book.
“We wish to categorically state that we condemn all forms of violence in whatever form and assure the nation that any such cases, which have been brought to the attention of the police will be investigated without fear or favour. Investigations on reported cases are underway as we continue to monitor the situation,” said Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba and Colonel Mugwisi, who all read the statement.
They added that three cases have been reported to the police, one at Machipisa, Chitungwiza and Mabvuku police stations respectively.
“The first case was perpetrated by unknown assailants who were driving a white pickup [vehicle] and wearing civilian attire who stormed a house and beat up occupants. The second one was against a soldier who had his house stoned in Chitungwiza by unknown assailants and a similar modus operandi was used in Mabvuku where another soldier’s house was stoned by unknown assailants.”
They called on members of the public who have witnessed such incidents, fallen victim or have knowledge of the assaults to report to the police on following hotline numbers: -0242-748836; 703631 or nearest police station for swift action to be taken.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba and Colonel Mugwisi confirmed that standby teams have been set up to swiftly respond to such actions and urged members of the public to without endangering themselves capture images of such criminals, some of whom might be criminals masquerading as soldiers.