President Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged victims of the January military crackdown to forth come with evidence to substantiate the allegations leveled against the state security forces.
In an exclusive interview with France24's Marc Perelman on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa Ethopia last night, Mnangagwa described alleged military rape victims as a charade schemed by some non-governmental organizations working in cahoots with the opposition; the MDC to effect regime change.
He rejected claims of mass human rights violations by the security forces.
"With regards to the rape, allegations of rape. We have both through print media, radio and TV appealed to those victims to come forward, report to the nearest police station, if you are not comfortable to report at the nearest police station, you go to the nearest church and report the abuse you underwent. We have only one single case that has come up in Chitungwiza.
"The rest, we now know that the women who were paraded was just a make up by some organizations and some of the women have now left the country, have been shipped to United Kingdom. The few who are still in the country they are being moved from house to house and we are trying to track them down, it's all stage managed. We are challenging anybody, anybody local or foreign to produce the women so that the world can see them. And say this is what happened... " he said.
On the military crackdown, Mnangagwa did not deny that the military overstepped its duties but said the state requires evidence to prove the purposeful killing of people during the shutdown protests.
"We would want to see evidence, we see all this in social media but we would want to see evidence where the 17 people were killed, where were they buried? Let us have the relatives who would say I lost a son, I lost a daughter, I lost a cousin, I lost a relative by the hands of the army. I'm not saying that the army did not overstep their powers... " Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa is currently attending the 32nd African Union Heads of States and Government summit in Addis Ababa.