President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) against engaging in criminal activities, saying such conduct brings shame to the force.
This comes following a rise in the number of armed robberies involving soldiers and police officers, with observers saying it is tantamount to a mutiny.
Speaking during the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day celebrations in Harare on Tuesday, Mnangagwa said:
Yours is a noble profession, you must, therefore, avoid association and acts that put to shame our security institutions.
You as officers, men and women of the ZDF (Zimbabwe Defence Forces) should never be entangled in criminal activities.
Soldiers and police offices are paid more than other civil servants but their salaries have been eroded by inflation, forcing some of them into crime.
Recently, an elite soldier, a member of the Presidental Guard battalion was shot by Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officers and fled with a bullet lodged in his rib cage after robbing a Chitungwiza service station of cash, a firearm and other valuables.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa yesterday said the government, “is committed to improving the conditions of service of the ZDF members.” He said:
… I challenge the ZDF administration to accelerate the completion of accommodation projects underway at Imbizo, Dzivarasekwa and Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo barracks.
The President also promised to equip the ZDF with modern technologies to enable them to ward off domestic and international threats.