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THE Ministry of Defence has refuted claims published in some sections of the private media of soldiers being sent on forced leave.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence’s spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi, said there were no soldiers sent on forced leave as alleged by the media.

“The ZDF is not sending its members on forced leave as alleged by the newspaper.

“The paper never bothered to check with us on the correct position before going to print.

“Instead of verifying their information with the organisation before publishing, they sought to check with an unofficial source, an unnamed soldier, which is unethical practice since we have open communication channels known to them,” said Col Mugwisi.

He said Zimbabwe Defence Forces members who were at work during the Christmas holidays were still on their deserved festive season break.

Col Mugwisi said ZDF members were entitled to vacation, occasional and compassionate leave just like all other government employees.

He urged the media to be professional and verify any reports regarding the force with the ministry instead of peddling falsehoods.

In its recent issue, The Zimbabwe Independent alleged that the ZNA had directed its members go on forced one-month leave after every month to reduce expenditure on food bills and other expenses at barracks.

However, Col Mugwisi described the reports as mischievous as no efforts were made to verify with the Ministry of Defence.

Source : The Herald