In a statement yesterday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema dismissed a report by NewsDay and The Guardian that the Zimbabwe Republic Police was hunting down 25 soldiers allegedly involved in looting.
The article was published under the headline, “Police dossier nails army in rights abuses . . . 25 soldiers sought in looting case”. Mathema said he checked with Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga who also dismissed the NewsDay story. Part of Mathema’s statement reads:
…He has informed me that if they had such a case he would have briefed my ministry straight away as is the norm. We therefore want to dismiss claims by The Guardian and the NewsDay that 25 soldiers are being sought for looting. We cannot have suspects without reported cases hence we are challenging those who allege that they were victims of any crime to report their cases to the police to pave way for investigations. The flurry of these stories are meant to please the peddlers’ masters, their desire is to change the narrative that those involved in public violence are not the criminals, but victims. We wish therefore to categorically dismiss these claims and challenge those with genuine complaints to report to the police.