Army raises concern over increased false media reports
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA)said on Thursday it is concerned by increased falsehoods being published against the organisation, highlighting these were meant to incite mass uprisings.
The ZNA cited recent reports which claimed that disaffected members had descended on Bulawayo and beat up innocent civilians in apparent protest against a purported salary cut.
In a statement, ZNA deputy director public relations Major Alex Zuva said the army was a professional organisation which conducted its operations in line with its Constitutional mandate.
He said most of the misinformation was being peddled mainly by online news agencies.
“There has been an increase of negative stories of late in which the media has tried to be subversive and capitalise on the hardships that have been caused by the Coronavirus induced lockdown to raise public emotions and anger against the army and the government,” he said.
“On Tuesday 16 June 2020, the Bulawayo24.com ran a series of stories to the effect that the army had taken over the city of Bulawayo. This is a blatant lie as the army was and is still assisting the police to enforce lockdown regulations in order to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The same publication went on to proffer possible scenarios that could have led to the so called takeover by theorising that the soldiers were angry because of the pay cut. Note that there was no salary cuts to the soldiers or civil servants. The back pay was communicated when it commenced and it has always been public knowledge that it was going to end in May 2020.”
Major Zuva said the army stood guided by its Constitutional mandate to safeguard the territorial integrity of Zimbabwe.
“The army knows that there has always been an agenda to link members of the defence forces with negative issues as part of the calculated regime change agenda. All operations that the army carries out are sanctioned and in line with its constitutional mandate which is to ensure the safety of the public and their property. In no circumstances does the army go about beating innocent civilians as purported in the series of false stories on the so called Bulawayo takeover,” he said.