The Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri said that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is ready to deal with internal as well as external threats.
Her remarks follow the government’s clampdown on civil society leaders who were arrested recently and charged with treason.
Moreover, the MDC youth assembly has threatened to take a confrontational approach in dealing with what it considers a corrupt and illegitimate military junta.
In an interview with State media over the weekend, Muchinguri said:
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) posture on national defence and security is defensive in nature; hence, the organisation trains to meet both internal and external security threats.
As the security situation evolves, the ZDF trains to ensure that they are ready to deal with any emerging threats.
The state of the country’s situation is, therefore, peaceful in spite of the isolated cases of politically-motivated violence and social media-driven threats.
Judging from the negative private press reports, including adverse social media reports, it is true that frantic efforts are being made by opposition political parties, supported by some non-governmental organisations, to tarnish the good image of the ZDF.
In August 2018, the government deployed an elite military unit in central Harare to deal with election-related protests resulting in 7 deaths of civilians.
In a related development, in January this year, troops were deployed across Harare and other cities to deal with protests resulting in 17 people were reportedly killed and hundreds seriously injured.