No Zimbabwe troops in Mozambique: Minister

GOVERNMENT has dismissed as false, reports that Zimbabwe has deployed troops to Mozambique stressing that it will tell the people, as constitutionally required, if forces are sent outside the country.

Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Government had noted with concern continued false reports claiming that Zimbabwe had deployed its army to fight an Islamic State insurgency in Mozambique.

In a statement, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the deployment of soldiers in foreign countries was governed by the Constitution and members of the public would be told whenever the Government makes such a decision.

“The Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs would like to inform the public that it is not true that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces has deployed troops in Mozambique to fight some armed elements destabilising that country. The deployment allegations are not only outright falsehoods but malicious hence the fake news should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. Whenever the ZDF is deployed, the population is always informed in accordance with the dictates of the country’s Constitution,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

There have been disturbances in some parts of Mozambique where gruesome acts have been committed by Islamist terrorists.

A fortnight ago President Mnangagwa held a one-day working meeting with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in Chimoio, where they discussed the security situation in Cabo Delgado and parts of Mozambique’s Manica and Sofala provinces.

The two leaders shared information and exchanged views on the political and economic situation in their two countries, Sadc, Africa and the world at large.

President Mnangagwa chairs the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security while President Nyusi deputises him.

Regarding the political, economic and social situation in Sadc, the two leaders welcomed that it remained relatively calm, but stressed the need for greater cooperation in addressing the challenges arising from the less favourable macro-economic environment and appealed to multilateral and other financial partners to continue to support countries in the region to cope with Covid-19 and its harmful socio-economic impacts.

A communiqué released after the meeting noted that the two leaders pledged to hold the next Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation once extraordinary measures arising from the Covid-19 pandemic were over.