Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Phillip Valerio Sibanda said soldiers that were deployed on August 1 used appropriate force and weapons to disperse demonstrators.
Appearing before the commission of inquiry into the August 1 violence, General Sibanda said although the soldiers were carrying AK47s the weaponry was appropriate in the sense that a solider cannot be deployed without his equipment. Said General Sibanda:
When we do an estimate of a situation, you look at how best you can deal with the situation in the shortest possible time and in this particular case with minimum force, damage and loss of life. We looked at that and we believed that the force that was eventually deployed by the commander of the National Reaction Force was appropriate and the weaponry was appropriate in the sense that you cannot deploy a solider without his equipment. It might not have been appropriate in the sense that they were carrying an AK47 as opposed to maybe a weapon that can take rubber bullets. But otherwise, the force that was used and so on was appropriate in my view because as you notice it was only one and half hours and the city was also back to normal except that there were no people because of what had happened.
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