The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) said that it regrets the deaths of seven people killed by soldiers in three recent shootings.
In one of the shootings, a man ignored warnings in a cantonment area in Gweru, in the other, a soldier who is said to be now in police custody fired randomly reacting to a mob attack in Mhondoro, while the third incident involved a robbery in Harare.
In a statement on Saturday, Brigadier-General Augustine Chipwere called on members of the public to report any member of the ZDF engaging in criminal activities or wayward behaviour. He said:
The ZDF acknowledges and regrets the loss of innocent lives and deeply commiserates with the bereaved families and communities.
The ZDF will assist all the bereaved families in accordance with regulations pertaining to such incidents.
The ZDF wishes to appeal to members of the public to report any member of the ZDF who behaves in a criminal manner or displays behaviour, not in keeping with the ZDF code of conduct, to the nearest cantonment area or to phone the following numbers 024 2792661 and 071 2808007 so that corrective action is taken promptly.
In the first incident, that occurred on Christmas Eve, a soldier who was on patrol within the cantonment area at Josiah Tungamirai Air Force Base in Gweru shot and injured Painos Zihesvu Dzvetsvera who later succumbed to his injuries.
Dzvetsvera, who had parked his kombi near the airbase just after midnight, was reportedly hit in the back while trying to flee from the soldier who had asked him what he was doing in a restricted area.
Brig-Gen Chipwere said the death could have been prevented had the now deceased Dzvetsvera observed and complied with signposts around the cantonment area and instructions by the patrol.
In the second incident that also occurred on Christmas Eve, Sergeant Lameck Kabara and Corporal Christopher Charuma were part of an armed robbery gang at 2345 Fern Road, Hatfield in Harare.
They shot and killed Elvis Chijaka and seriously injured Brian Chijaka.
In the third incident on Christmas Day, Lance Corporal Monga shot and killed five people at Wanganui Shops in Mhondoro Ngezi at around 6 PM after he was cornered by a mob.