By the Sunday news

The police have identified two children in unsettling pictures belonging to a bogus Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) officer who is suspected to have indecently assaulted the children. The pictures are said to have leaked after the “soldier” took his mobile phone for repairs and the technician stumbled upon them and made a police report. It is, however, not yet clear how the pictures went viral on social networks. The pictures showed the half naked children sitting on what looked like a bed. In one of the pictures, one of the children is holding the man’s manhood.

National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the incident.

“We have managed to identify two of the children in the pictures but we cannot divulge their identity as they are protected by law. We also are not in a position to give any information about their location or age at the moment. A key informant gave us all this information, the informant managed to give us good leads,” she said.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the media played a vital role in leading to the identification of the children as the issue was publicised on the national broadcaster, ZBC. She further said police were hunting for the culprit.

“We are now hunting for the culprit and we have stakeholders and other people who are assisting in identifying him and soon we will have him in hopefully,” she said. Snr Asst Comm Charamba said parents and guardians of minors should monitor their children closely.

“I am appealing to parents and guardians to monitor minor children closely all the time. They have to observe any suspicious behaviour that they may exhibit because that is when they can hear of cases of abuse. Again parents must make an effort to be close to their children so that if any abuse is happening the child may confide in them, they open up more if you have a close relationship with them,” she said.

She stressed the need for parents to accompany their young children to and from school as that is where some of the abuse is taking place.Snr Asst Comm Charamba urged parents to ensure their children are safe all the time. The police said the long arm of the law will catch up with would-be perpetrators and said people must respect children and each other.

“As a parent I must say I am horrified by this incident, it is shocking that someone can do such a thing. I urge all people who may have information about this particular case to report to the nearest police station and the culprit be brought to book as soon as possible,” she said.

The disturbing images surfaced during the week and the suspect was alleged to be a ZNA officer but the army said it was a bogus officer as the uniform he was wearing was said to be mixed. Any information which may prove useful should be supplied to ZRP complaints desk on 04-703631 and Harare operations on 04-748836 or any nearest police station.