No soldiers assaulted villagers in the Humbani area of Mberengwa West following a break-in at the homestead of Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo last month and no soldiers were involved in the investigations or were even in the area, the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has said.
In a statement, Director Army Public Relations Colonel Alphios Makotore said the army did not have any soldiers deployed in Mberengwa and did not investigate cases of theft and burglary, which is a police function.
“The false article was published by NewZimbabwe whose reporters never sought to verify the facts from the army authorities or the police, but quoted some anonymous sources for their story,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is that the army does not have any of its soldiers deployed in Mberengwa. The army does not in any way investigate cases of theft and burglary.
“The burglary and theft at the Minister’s homestead happened some two weeks ago and the Zimbabwe Republic Police reacted accordingly. Investigations are still underway to apprehend the culprits.”
Col Makotore said the anonymous “local residents” who supposedly spoke to NewZimbabwe were simply suspects who wanted to divert the attention of police detectives from the case and in the process they were soiling the good name of the ZNA.
“As for the Beitbridge news story which was published by NewsDay on February 1, 2021, wherein it is alleged that Army Commandos beat up police, the NewsDay newspaper story is also a complete fabrication based on the reporter’s own imagination,” he said.
“Members of the Army and Zimbabwe Republic Police are carrying out joint operations together with personnel from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Immigration Department.”
As clearly pointed out by the Officer Commanding Beitbridge Police District, no such incident ever occurred.
“Equally so, the Army has not received any reports pertaining to such an incident,” said Col Makotore.
“The Army would like to warn members of the public, especially some of those criminal elements who ply their illegal activities in and around Beitbridge, that the law will soon catch up with them.
“The security forces are well aware of some malcontents who are trying to besmirch the operation in particular and the good image of the security forces, in general. Their futile and criminal machinations to discredit the operation will not succeed.”