Security forces have an obligation to serve country. . . and their record is unquestionable

Ruvimbo Chivero & Solomon Banda
The security forces have the obligation to defend and safeguard the country and they must carry out their mandates without fear or favour. However, it seems certain sections of the media are on a mission to discreditthe  security forces in fulfilment of a nefarious agenda. To this end, the said media have made efforts to cast a negative perception of the forces through unbalanced reporting which is bound to have a negative impact on the country’s outlook.

The media has decided to turn the tables and portray the violent protesters as victims and the security forces as perpetrators of gross human rights abuses. This same media has been ominously silent on how security forces were either killed or maimed by the violent protesters who destroyed properties and looted shops.

Some of the worst cases of violence were the torching of Makoni Police Station, Domboramwari Police Station, the tollgate along Masvingo Road, and a ZUPCO bus, among other buildings and assets.

By ignoring the atrocities committed by the protesters, the private media has decided to substitute facts with lies in their endeavour to tarnish the good image of the security forces. This type of reporting is causing more harm than good and all right-thinking Zimbabweans must reject it with the contempt it deserves.

Alleged cases of murder and sexual harassment have been reported by the private media with no shred of evidence, thereby causing unnecessary alarm and despondency.

Civic organisations are not helping things either by capitalising on these false reports to further their regime change agenda with renewed vigour. It is now a known fact that they are being paid handsomely by their handlers. Safe houses are now big business and cash cows.

Impeccable record

The recent violent protests and the subsequent successful intervention by the security forces to restore normalcy bring into perspective the role of the security forces in upholding peace and security in the country and they continue to do so with professionalism and integrity.

Zimbabwe enjoys peace today thanks to the sacrifices and efforts of numerous men and women in uniform who ensure that security is always maintained and sustained throughout the country.

The security services’ contributions to peace and security has extended beyond the country’s borders with a number of officers, men and women taking part in various peacemaking missions around the world. Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Defence Forces collectively continue to take part in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Nepal, Angola, among many other countries.

In addition, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to fight rebels that threatened peace in the Central African country. The people of DRC are now enjoying relative peace partly due to the efforts of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

It is worth nothing that in all international missions the forces have participated in they have acquitted themselves professionally in carrying out their duties with distinctions, and in the process, winning plaudits from the international community.

Locally, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces executed Operation Restore Legacy with distinction and have been proactive in economic schemes such as Command Agriculture and partnering the Civil Protection Unit in disaster management operations as well as community assistance programmes, which are meant to improve community well-being through constructing critical infrastructure.

Apart from these operations, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces are also involved in humanitarian demining operations along the country’s borders, as well as championing charity initiatives. All this is part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

The security forces have been proactive in the economic development of the country through maintaining a peaceful environment conducive for doing business.

Like-minded Zimbabweans should be able to see the necessity of intervention by the security forces to quell the recent violent protests. The security forces have always been faithful partners in the development of the nation and can never work against the people.

Judging by the above achievements and in light of the recent demonstrations and the reactions by the security forces, it is unfair for anyone to blame the forces for executing their duties successfully.

With all due respect it would be correct for one to assume that the recent allegations of torture, harassment and rape are deliberate attempts to discredit the security forces as no evidence to prove the allegations has been brought forward.

Given the spurious nature of unsubstantiated allegations levelled against the security forces, one is left with no option but to believe that people behind the reports are pushing a known political agenda.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has called on citizens to report any cases of rape, torture and harassment and let the law take its course, but these calls have fallen on deaf ears. Could it be that the failure to bring forward evidence to support the said media reports is enough evidence to prove that the damaging stories are based on lies? Food for thought.

Source : The Herald

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