Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has dismissed allegations by the private media claiming its members were abusing citizens.
The false reports also seek to tarnish the ZDF’s good name.
The stories claimed ZDF members were abusing vendors during an operation to rid the Harare Central Business District of illegal traders as part of the fight against cholera.
The reports further claimed opposition party members were being terrorised.
In a statement yesterday, ZDF Director of Public Relations, Colonel Overson Mugwisi dismissed the allegations as outrageous and false.
“Negative sentiments being peddled by some sections of the media against the ZDF are completely outrageous and untrue. The objective of such negative reporting is to misinform the public and tarnish the image of the ZDF.
“The public are therefore urged to ignore such malicious messages, which in our view are meant to attract the attention of the Commission of Inquiry assigned by His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to investigate the post-election violence that resulted in the unfortunate deaths of six people,” he said.
Col Mugwisi said examples of the negative sentiments included comments in the Daily News of September 25, 2018 under the headline “Concerns Grow over Human Rights Violations”.
The comments insinuated that the ZDF members dressed in ZRP uniform were beating up vendors in Harare.
“It should be noted that the ZDF has no role or any anticipated deployments in the on-going local authority vendor restriction exercise in Harare.
“In a NewsDay story of 13 September, 2018; “Rogue Soldier Terrorising Residents in Chitungwiza”, the alleged soldier was not identified in the story and as far as we are aware, no such report was made either to the Zimbabwe Republic Police or the ZDF,” he said.