The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the military have denied having played a hand in the violence and looting that took place during last week’s protests as Zanu (PF) lays blame on the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.
Addressing a joint press conference in Harare, the ZRP and Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokespersons shifted blame on their retired members and rogue civilians for having stolen their uniforms to loot and rob.
“Some of these uniforms worn by criminals were seized by rogue elements during the recent riots in Epworth and Chegutu. A case in point is a recent arrest of five armed robbers in Epworth, Harare on 14 January 2019, who were using police and military regalia to commit armed robberies, after hiring vehicles from car rental companies.
“We are therefore giving an ultimatum to individuals who have retired, deserted, absented themselves without official leave (AWOL) from service to immediately handover uniforms either to the police or the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. All those who do not comply with this directive will be flushed out by already deployed members of the security services. We are also appealing to members of the public who have information on such people who are not serving members and are abusing military/police regalia to report to the police,” said ZRP Spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba.
Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet and Presidential Spokesperson, George Charamba said the violence was pre-planned, pre-arranged by the MDC Alliance and its affiliates.
George Charamba said last month, there was a statement issued by a cabinet minister indicating that there were a number of meetings held by affiliates of the MDC Alliance and some foreigners working towards fomenting trouble in Zimbabwe.