The Deputy Minister of Defence Victor Matemadanda yesterday said he could not confirm if any armouries were raided during last month’s disturbances because he need to investigate this and asked Senator Tichinani Mavetera to put his question in writing.
Mavetera had said that reports that armouries were raided with arms and uniforms being taken were scary.
“I do not have information of an armory having been broken into,” Matemadanda said.
“I would kindly ask that the Hon. Senator puts the question in writing so that we investigate and see where the armory is located which was broken into. Madam President, an armory is not situated at the periphery of a cantonment area.”
When pressed by Senator Siphiwe Ncube to answer the question because there had been such reports in the Herald and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Matemadanda said he does not get instructions or information to run the ministry from the media.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans. We have heard reports or allegations that the armory of the Army was raided and arms and uniforms taken. That is very scary for us as a people. We want the Minister to tell us the magnitude of that, where it happened and ensure the nation that we are satisfied that our armory is in good hands because we can end up like another Somali where everyone has a gun in his house. So, I think this is a serious issue which the Minister has to answer. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the Hon. Senator for a surprise question because I do not have information of an armory having been broken into. I would kindly ask that the Hon. Senator puts the question in writing so that we investigate and see where the armory is located which was broken into. Madam President, an armory is not situated at the periphery of a cantonment area. Thank you.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You asked the Hon. Member to put the question in written form but I think it is okay that now you know something is happening.
+HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I am requesting the Minister to answer the question. It is said that some people stole soldiers’ uniforms. These were the people who were raping, shooting at people, torturing and beating up people. We are talking about a Herald report. May the Minister make a report on this so that people can hear from ZBC? I thank you.
+HON. MATEMADANDA: I thank you Madam President. I also thank the Hon. Senator for saying that. Unfortunately, as I said before, I cannot get instructions or information of running the Ministry from the media. Also, I am not the Minister of Information. That can be best answered by the information people because they are the ones who wrote it. They know where it happened and who did that. As a Ministry, we do not work as guided by the newspapers. We work on standards, operations and procedures. I thank you.