Motlanthe Commission: Aug 1 Shootings Inquiry Report Ready

Harare - The Kgalema Motlanthe chaired Commission of Inquiry into the August 1, 2018 killings in the capital has completed its report.  

Two days after closing the gathering of evidence and only two months into their work, the commision has already submitted the executive summary of its report to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

A complete report will be released thereaafter, according to the spokesperson, John Masuku, adding that the full report had gone for printing and would be presented to Mnangagwa soon.

“Today, the commission presented to the President what we call an executive summary, while the complete report will be presented this Saturday,” Masuku told NewsDay.

“In short, what I am saying is that, yes, the report is complete, but we have sent it to government printers for printing and binding, and it shall be presented to the President and public this Saturday.”

Nelson Chamisa and MDC deputy national chairperson Tendai Biti, while former Home Affairs minister and Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu testified on the final day.
Zimbabwean Soldiers Attacks a Civilian 

Former Zanu PF Harare provincial youth leader Jim Kunaka testified last week. The committee also heard testimonies in Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, Valerio Sibanda; the Presidential Guard and National Reaction Force tactical commander Brigadier-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe, among others also featured as witnesses. 

The commission completed its work in under two months, despite being given a three-month deadline to conduct public hearings and report back to Mnangagwa, who set up the seven-member commission at the end of August.

In his testimony, police chief Godwin Matanga also claimed he had a letter of authority from Mnangagwa to use the military.

However, Chief Superintendent Ncube said members of the military were deployed illegally and violated provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa). He said although he was the one who had requested for reinforcements, he only got to know that his request had been granted when he heard gunshots in Harare’s central business district.

“I did not know that soldiers were in town by the time they were deployed. I only heard gunshots and on asking my officers on the ground, I then learnt that soldiers were on the ground and that they were shooting,” he said.

Under Posa, any member of the army deployed upon police request was supposed to report to police commanders first and operate under their orders, but this did not happen in this case, and he was unaware of who was commanding the troops.

Sanyatwe told the commission that the soldiers were taking orders from him, in violation of the law. Chamisa asked the commission to focus its energy on who had deployed the soldiers, who he claimed were behind the shootings, supporting his arguments by video footage.

Biti called into question the credibility of some of the commissioners and queried Mnangagwa’s moral right to appoint the commission. Kunaka also questioned the presence of Charity Manyeruke, a known Zanu PF official who he claimed was previously behind some of the violence against opposition figures.

This is not the first time the government has appointed a commission of inquiry. The Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry was set by government as a truth commission to investigate the disturbances that rocked the Matabeleland and Midlands regions between 1983 and 1984.

The disturbances, now known as Gukurahundi, claimed about 20 000 people after then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe deployed the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to quash an insurgency. However, the report from the enquiry was never made public.

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