By Staff Reporter
MDC ALLIANCE has called on the army to rein in rogue elements within the security sector for terrorising civilians.
This follows reports of acts of brutality visited on civilians by soldiers in Midlands recently.
MDC Alliance Midlands spokesperson Takavafira Zhou, speaking in an interview, said the army must rein in rogue elements within its ranks.
“It is unfortunate that army personnel shot an innocent villager to death in Gweru, while there were reports of innocent civilians or villagers brutalised by the army in Mberengwa and Gokwe,” Zhou said.
Recently, Zanu PF women’s league commissar Maybe Mbowa said some soldiers had visited brutalities on the villagers.
Though Mbowa said calm has since returned to the area, she is reported to have said some soldiers in Gokwe-Nembudziya terrorised villagers for allegedly violating lockdown regulations.
Said Zhou, “Such instances do not resonate with modern day operations of a national army, mostly in cultivating harmonious civil-military relations.
“We therefore urge the army commanders to rein in some of its rogue elements in order to maintain high professional standards of the army as defenders of the territorial integrity of the country.”
Meanwhile, Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) director Obert Chinhamo said his organisation has received reports of soldiers soliciting for bribes.
“We have received reports against soldiers who are soliciting for bribes from motorists and travellers without permits.
“In other areas, soldiers are being hired by rogue mushikashikas (pirate taxis) to help them pass checkpoints for a fee,” Chinhamo said.
He added that the soldiers “normally” harass and threaten people as a strategy to force them to pay bribes.
Just like what the police has done to deploy senior police officers at checkpoints, Chinhamo said, the army should do the same.
“The department in charge of anti-corruption within the army should monitor these rogue soldiers.
“If the department does not exist, the army should consider setting it up since corruption within the army has reached sickening levels,” he said.