Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE have dismissed claims by one of the G40 kingpins and self-exiled former Cabinet minister Professor Jonathan Moyo that some of its officers in Plumtree, Matabeleland South, were defying orders from superiors in an attempt to plant seeds of division within the security forces.
The police said they were aware that some rogue cops were feeding false information to exiled politicians in the hope of fomenting alarm and despondency.
Prof Moyo on Tuesday posted on Twitter that some police officers in the border town were defying superiors as they are now in support of illegal and violent demonstrations planned by the opposition.
However, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi dismissed his claims, stating that nothing of that sort ever happened within the Zimbabwe Republic Police ranks and command.
He said ZRP was aware that some rogue cops were providing false information to exiled politicians but their efforts will amount to nothing.
“We are concerned that there are some rogue elements that are trying to cause alarm and despondency, giving out false messages to some politicians particularly those who are using social media while outside the country.
“What they portray is not correct or is not the situation obtaining on the ground. If you go to Plumtree right now, there is peace and nothing of that sort happened on the ground. So those members will have themselves to blame once caught,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said officers who want to dabble in politics should leave the force.
“The police officers who are doing that for political mileage will have themselves to blame. It’s either they are police officers or they want to be politicians and those who want to be politicians should leave the organisation.
“We are fully aware that they are some rogue elements who are doing that for sinister motives and certainly, certainly the law will catchup with them,” he said.
In a statement posted on Twitter, ZRP buttressed their assertion while urging members of the public against being hoodwinked into believing falsehoods.
“The ZRP dismisses the social media post by Professor Jonathan Moyo in connection with alleged defying of instructions at ZRP Plumtree by police officers. The post is false and should be dismissed with contempt which it deserves,” said the police.
“The public is urged to be careful of the misleading posts which are circulating on social media as they do not portray the true picture on the ground. No to falsehoods. The ZRP is now conducting investigations to flush out rogue elements who are giving false information.”
The opposition and its allies have made a number of attempts, albeit futile, to cause divisions within the security sector to create the false impression that some members of the forces were in support of their violent demonstrations.
President Mnangagwa on Tuesday commended the country’s defence forces for remaining resolute despite attempts to foment divisions in the sector by the country’s detractors.
“Thank you, once again for remaining calm and peaceful in the wake of some misguided calls for violent protests and demonstrations by the opposition elements with support from foreign and civil society supporters and backers,” said President Mnangagwa.
“You have shown your patriotism and love for peace and tranquillity. To the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, as a nation we take pride in you and we thank you for continuously defending our sovereignty and territorial integrity from all contemporary threats.”