'Govt riots explanation laughable'

HARARE - Questions have been raised over government’s claims that police and army deserters were responsible for the riots and mayhem that characterised a three-day stay-away, which reportedly led to the death of at least 12 people.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, police spokesperson Charity Charamba told journalists deserters were behind the riots.

This is despite claims by State security minister Owen Ncube, who blamed the MDC and civil society organisations of causing the disturbances.

Observers have criticised the latest statement by government, claiming the explanation leaves a lot to be desired.

UK-based Kent University law lecturer Alex Magaisa expressed dismay over government’s explanation on social media, accusing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime of being dishonest and lacking probity.

“Their default setting is to blame the MDC and NGOs. Security minister simply followed this tired script. It was implausible, absurd and laughable. So they came up with another theory — our uniforms were stolen, deserters and retired officers kept uniforms. It’s amateurish and worse.

“Their theory does not explain how thousands of them ended up with military and police trucks plus guns and ammunition. Did the criminals steal these too? Did retired officers take them home when they left? It’s completely absurd but that’s what makes them a laughing stock,” Magaisa said.

The police presser, which they jointly held with the army, came as dozens of people are being treated of gunshot wounds, while others were shot dead.

The police’s heavy-handedness has received widespread condemnation from human rights and international organisations. The organisations have asked the government to exercise restraint and investigate cases of human rights abuse.

Amid this condemnation, Zimbabweans, have however been left with more questions than answers, especially after the police claims.

MDC official David Coltart described the explanation as bizarre.

“…Kafkaesque happenings in #Zimbabwe. If you find yourself in a hole stop digging! Having been caught red handed it now appears rogue elements in uniform are now accused of fomenting the violence this week. This can only complicate things even more for the regime,” Coltart wrote on Twitter.

Another observer Pedzisai Ruhanya said the joint statement by the army and police was an embarrassment.

“The joint statement by Zimbabwe’s police and army/security services is the greatest embarrassment and tomfoolery in Africa South of the Sahara in this sector since Idi Amin!” he said on Twitter.


Comments (15)

No sane person can buy that story. I actually felt pity for these spokespersons when they made to read prepared script!!! Are deserters also hijacking army trucks which continue to offload deserters to beat up people!!!!!!

MONDY MOYO - 21 January 2019

The explanation if true is comical and it underlines the very poor aptitude that exists within the administration. No wonder they are clueless when it comes to rescuing the economy - and explains why they revert back to murder and brutality when things go awry. It's their 'default setting'. Like many of the these authoritarian regimes they rely on loyalty and fear way ahead of ability which is why Zim will continue to decline as the caliber of official is simply not up to the task. Completely out of their depth. Remember though that this isn't a legitimate government and in essence it continues as an organized crime syndicate. It primarily survives on fear and intimidation. It's also the main reason why the Mugabe regime employed the 'expertise' of the N Koreans who have shown themselves to be very adept at repressing the people to an almost zombie like state. The other reason for such ridiculous explanations as to what took place is that they also simply don't care about he average Zimbo. Only until there's an implication for the survival of the regime will they become more engaged.

dr dre - 21 January 2019

This is clear sign that the military junta has completely lost it, they are acting like a rebel group. The spin doctoring by mad woman charamba is primitive, pagan and open stupidity of the highest caliber, I feel sorry for the children who came from her womb. They have suddenly lost all human credibility and surprisingly they are not even ashamed. They make Zimbabweans look cheap on the global platform because if these are our government spokespersons then, we are not worth to be called people. We have been reduced to below human beings by these rogue elements masquerading as a ruling elite, representing no-one other than ill gotten wealth which they are now protecting through guns.

Kufandada - 21 January 2019

You cannot believe because you a preconceived notion about what happened. I have strong feeling that the deserters were even hired by the organisers of the demonstrations

John Sigauke - 21 January 2019

LOL So are you saying that the Union bosses and opposition parties recruited the deserters and retirees or that zpf utilized this u tapped resource? As I understand it though deserters from the armed forces could be arrested for desertion of duty so why would they put themselves in harms way and work with the regulars? Duh! It's all a load of government spin in a lame attempt to once again shift blame. No one's buying it though - or at least no one with an IQ higher than 20.

dr dre - 21 January 2019

Remember these guys have got form. It was only a few months ago they shot unarmed protesters - why would they feel any concern about doing it again.

dr dre - 21 January 2019

Comical Ali reborn...This is an outright embarrassment. Surely they have no shame!

George - 21 January 2019

Surely some people are brainless, how can security leaders, the so called spokespersons ooze such foolish and dull statements. I wonder why these guys believed Rotina Mavunga that diesel was oozing at Chinhoyi mountains. Do you think we can go anywhere with such people as our leaders? Better ini Chinotimba nditonge zvangu

Chinotimba - 21 January 2019

And when they're slapped with travel restrictions and sanctions they cry and blame them for all their shortcomings. stupid

Moe Syszlack - 21 January 2019

Its a period when l became shameful of being Zimbabean. How can the police and army utter such nonsence. I regard our Police and army to be one of the highly trained in Africa and for them to give such reasons baffles me. This is the second instance they have lied through their teeth. Its a shame. Phuuuuuui it smells.

Gerry ncube - 21 January 2019

Army (not sure about the police) highly trained. That may well be the case but to what end and to protect who? This is the tragedy that's been playing out for quite some time. The army it would seem are simply drilled to protect the zanu leadership and their organized crime associates. End of. It would truly be a Zimbabwean dream if lower level commanders in the army were to stick two fingers up to the senior commanders when asked to fire on their own people and if they had the bulk of the force behind them it could be a potential game-changer. I suspect though the army would fragment along divisional lines, so crack units that get the best equipment etc get looked after first.

dr dre - 21 January 2019

"Rogue elements and retired officers who stole uniforms..."So....you are saying that they are NOT ZNA or ZRP. You are saying they are criminal? if this is so then when the day comes where citizens (in their numbers can do so, it will be within their rights to defend themselves from these brutes who - after all - are not cops of military but "rogue elements"

Mo'Sadza - 21 January 2019

Charity was captured by the state a long time ago. But then again she is quite thick. Stupid woman.

Is that so? - 21 January 2019

Joke of the century.

gonzo - 22 January 2019

The terrorist tag is refusing to wash off from ZPF and the govt. All assassinations and genocides plus everything in between from 1975 to date can be traced back to those "in power" today. Some little boys and girls have been roped in a maze they don't even understand....some are ready to squeal!!

The Matrix - 22 January 2019

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.