Military Claims Protestors Stole Guns And Shot People Using Uniforms Stolen From Washing Lines

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) have claimed that that protestors stole their guns during the #ShutdownZimbabwe protests and used the weapons to kill people.

Military Claims Protestors Stole Guns And Shot People Using Uniforms Stolen From Washing Lines

This follows reports from civil society organizations that at least 17 have died during the military crackdown while close to a hundred people sustained gunshot wounds. Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Chief of Staff, Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba distanced the military from the shootings and abuse of civilians and instead blamed bogus soldiers who stole uniforms. Newsday report that Nyikayaramba told the media yesterday

Protesters destroyed about 165 shops owned by ordinary members of the public. They overran police stations, burnt police, and public transport vehicles and also killed citizens including a police officer. They broke into police armories, stealing weapons and ammunition, which they used to kill people.

…We have been flashing out rogue elements and we have a challenge that some of them ran away with our uniforms. Some of the uniforms are stolen on washing lines, which other people use to perpetrate criminal activities.

Some of the uniforms are taken from deceased people. We have not been collecting them and it’s a weakness in the system. We urge all those with the uniforms to return them. Some have started returning them and there is a heap in Epworth from people surrendering them.

Nyikayaramba also said that the military would deal with any soldiers found to have engaged in the brutal abuse of civilians during the crackdown.

Following the deployment of the ZDF, there have been a number of serious allegations leveled against us, including human rights abuses, rape, assaults, extortion, and others…Soldiers were deployed to patrol the streets and if there are soldiers who could have acted overboard, investigations will be conducted.

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