The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has furiously denied allegations that it has deployed special forces in the country. This follows an article that was published by the weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper which claimed that the military had deployed its special troops in the country to gather intelligence and gauge the popularity of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party. The newspaper alleges that the deployments were motivated by the deteriorating economic conditions.
This did not go down well with the ZNA who issued a strongly worded statement denying the allegations. The statement which was issued by ZNA spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore accused the Zimbabwe Independent of being malicious and of issuing outright falsehoods.
TO: News Editor
ZNA NEWS RELEASE
07 February 2020
MEDIA RESPONSE ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT FALSE DEPLOYMENT ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE MILITARY
The Zimbabwe National Army would like to categorically refute the false allegations published by the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper of 07-13 February 2020 in an article titled “Panicky army chiefs, deploy special forces.” It is not true that the military has deployed as alleged by this malicious newspaper article, which is false in all respects, hence it cannot go unchallenged.
Besides being malicious, the news article raises some serious allegations, which are outright falsehoods against the Zimbabwe National Army. It should be therefore noted that the Zimbabwe National Army is apolitical and its roles and duties are clearly spelt out in the Constitution of Zimbabwe and amplified in the Defence Forces Policy.
The Army is a professional national institution that is guided by the country’s Constitution. When it deploys, the nation is accordingly informed. There is, therefore, no secret deployments as falsely alleged in the newspaper article.
In view of the increasing media queries on ZDF deployments against machete-wielding gangs, the so-called “Mashurugwi”, members of the public should be made aware that it is purely the responsibility of the ZRP to deal decisively with the menace. We are convinced that the ZRP will be equal to the task and bring all the culprits to book.
The ZDF are committed to ensuring that peace and security are maintained throughout the country. Members of the media should, therefore, feel free to clear any doubts on any issues involving our members that may have the potential to destabilise the security situation in the country. The clearance can be done with relevant military authorities nearest to them.