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Commission of Enquiry: Inquest into Election Shooting Questioned

Harare - The recent announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to appoint former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe to chair a com...

Harare - The recent announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to appoint former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe to chair a commission of enquiry into a post-election shootings by soldiers that flared in Harare on August 1 2018, claiming six lives of unarmed civilians has received mixed reactions. 

The terms of reference were accorded a fair share of criticism by independent observers, saying they were titled against the victims.   

"This is just weird. "Circumstances which NECESSITATED involvement of the military in ASSISTING..." They should try this: "to investigate circumstances surrounding the deployment of the military, the orders given, the command structure and actions taken," observed one journalist. 

Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya was equally pessimistic.

"You cant have a commission of inquiry into why people protested; why people exercised their constitutional rights; the inquiry should be why soldiers SHOT unarmed civilians and who ordered the unlawful ACT. I hope this is not a witch hunt against MDC's right to lawful protests." 
Violence Flared in Harare After the July 30 Elections 

In announcing the commission Mnangagwa said, "Today, I appointed a 7 member Commission of Inquiry led by former South African President HE Kgalema Motlanthe to investigate the tragic events of August 1st. 

"The commission will function with both independence and transparency, and is composed of international & local experts."

Human rights lawyer, Dewa Mavhinga also responded to the statement. 

"President @edmnangagwa has set up a Commission of Inquiry into the killings & violence on 1 August, but Zimbabwe has a bad history with Commissions, the Chihambakwe Commission report into Gukurahundi was never made public. Will this one be public? Justice must be done."

"The trouble with commissions of inquiry in this part of the world is that they are almost always a window dressing exercise which is not backed by any genuine commitment to address the issue at hand. Yet they afford those at the top the wriggle room to say they “did something,” voiced advocate Fadzayi Mahere. 

Other appointed members are Rodney Dixon from the United Kingdom, former Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria and General Davis Mwamunyange, former Chief of Defence Forces of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces.

University of Zimbabwe lecturers Professor Charity Manyeruke, Professor Lovemore Madhuku and former president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Vimbai Nyemba makes the local contigent.

In making the announcement at his Munhumutapa offices, President Mnangagwa said the commission’s terms of reference include identifying the actors and their leaders, motive and strategies employed, among other pertinent issues.

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