‘ED must take responsibility for shootings’

CIVIC society organisations (CSOs) and opposition political parties yesterday challenged President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa to take responsibility for the fatal shooting of seven civilians by soldiers deployed to quell MDC Alliance protests two weeks ago, and order the trial of the soldiers responsible for the fatalities.

BY SILAS NKALA

This came after Mnangagwa, in his Defence Forces Day speech on Tuesday, sought to absolve the soldiers of any wrongdoing and blamed MDC Alliance leaders for the bloodbath.

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda described Mnangagwa’s remarks as reckless and likely to drive away potential investors.

“Since the election, this President has made various mistakes and taken oversimplified positions exposing a worringly weak or absent governing philosophy and a complete disregard for the intricate fundamentals of the Office of the Presidency. These include one mistake a day in the last week, which exposed a growing concern about his levels of competence in the office he currently occupies,” Sibanda said.

“He started the last week with the unfortunate statements about influencing the legal system. This, in itself, threatens the economy as no foreign investor would want to invest in a country where the President mistakes him or herself for the law. He capped two days with allowing the police to threaten and attack journalists, something that is unheard of and is not allowed in most countries on earth.”

Sibanda said foreign investors only flocked to countries where the rule of law subsists.

“ED is advised to use his pulpit as an opportune moment to reflect on a tragedy that happened under his watch and find a lasting solution to get the ZDF [Zimbabwe Defence Forces] to discharge its constitutional obligation to protect Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans and stay out of partisan politics.”

Sibanda said Mnangagwa should not pass blame to his subordinates.

“Leaders do not use tragedies divisively, in fact, they use them to find the nation, take their time to work to rebuild, unite and find consensus in order to move the country forward. To try and spin these murders, wherein the Presidential Guard (the President as the instructing authority) was caught with its hands on the trigger is unfortunate and unwarranted,” he said.

Habakkuk Trust director Dumisani Nkomo also slammed Mnangagwa’s statements.


“Now nobody is taking responsibility for the [seven] people that died. The opposition can be blamed for arson, but the State must take responsibility for those that were shot. We expect an apology from the army and government and somebody somewhere must resign,” Nkomo said.

Shalom Project Trust director Anglistone Sibanda said: “The people would recall that these are not the first killings by the junta. People were reportedly killed during the coup [that forced Robert Mugabe out] and killing is not anything new to them.”

Sibanda blamed the MDC Alliance leadership for mobilising people to protest.

Ibhetshu likaZulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said it was unfortunate for anyone to expect Mnangagwa to condemn the military for the shootings, killings and torture saying he owes his Presidency to the military.

“If the protesters were breaking the law, you do not kill them, you arrest them. By infringing on their rights, the government is now the enemy of the people that it claims to be governing. The people are still waiting to hear him reprimand the military.”

People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Fortune Mlalazi said the stance taken by Mnangagwa’s government was regrettable.

“Human life has never been sacred to Zanu PF, hence they are more worried about the property that was destroyed, a few Zanu PF cars which were purchased using proceeds from State resources. That is what they are worried about,” Mlalazi said.

“They have a good history in terms of Gukurahundi and other killings. Remember the murders that occurred in 2008, no one has ever taken responsibility, hence today, they blame MDC Alliance for less than 100 protesters that went on the streets, who if they were malcontents, they were supposed to be arrested, not to be shot at.”

#ThisConstitution leader Abigail Mupambi said it was sad that the nation had a President who sees nothing wrong with soldiers butchering civilians exercising their democratic right.

“. . . he has literary imposed sanctions on Zimbabweans by his failure to condemn the soldiers’ acts,” she said.

MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said Mnangagwa’s statement was irresponsible.

“The country needs honest leadership if we want to lure investors. The seven people were shot by soldiers and the nation expected an apology from Mnangagwa. The Zanu PF leader must learn to apologise, instead of trying to hide behind a finger,” he said.

17 Comments

  1. Its a tit for tat and MDC Alliance Leadership in total must take full blame for the orgy of violence which took place in CBD from the looting of shops burning of peoples property and multiple injuries sustained by innocent civilians who were stoned by the marauding malcontents, all this bad behaviour has no place in the new Zimbabwe.

    1. Vana Anonymous, stop showing your stupidity or foolishness. The nation needs healing and moving forward. When people demonstrate, people are arrested and put before the courts for trial. The soldiers are there to protect the ermines of the country, the police to manage and control disorder in the country, when you see the leadership sending the army to kill its citizens its madness of the highest order. If it is ED who gave the order the best thing he could do for Zimbabwe is for him to hand over his position to Chiwenga or Mohadi if it is Chiwenga or Mohadi they better resign cause the wrath of God will catch them soon. And the blood of the dead is upon their lives and of their children Justice will prevail one day. The army that they trust soo much will one day consume them.

    2. ED ordered the soldiers under his command to shoot innocent civilians. Unless he tells us who else ordered that shooting it will be him. I don’t want a killer president.

  2. SHAME TO DAMBUDZO, SHAME TO HIM, HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF THOSE CIVILIANS BECAUSE HE SHOULD HAVE ACCEPTED DEFEAT INSTEAD OF ACCEPTING GIFTS OF VOTES FROM ZEC. WE THE PEOPLE WHO VOTED, WE KNOW THAT HE DID NOT WIN THE ELECTION. WHATEVER ZBC PR HE MAY TRY, DAMBUDZO IS NOT LEGITIMATE. ED LOST, WE DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM. SHAME TO DAMBUDZO, HE IS JUST ANOTHER PROBLEM FOR ZIMBABWEANS, INCLUDING THAT POWER HUNGRY EX SOLDIER.

  3. Tit for tat my foot, if people were looting why were they slaughtered and not arrested. What does that tell you Mr/Miss Anonymous?

  4. No President in a functional democracy can absolve himself, let alone his functionaries, when life or limb is lost in a fracas involving members of his state security apparatus. The President, as the nation’s CEO,has to shoulder the blame even when the riots were engineered by groups or individuals with their own agendas against his rule. Riots are not quelled by live bullets but by rubber bullets at worst and by water cannons or tear gas at the very least. Its even a national scandal if rioters are then shot in the back whilst fleeing from the police or soldiers.Even in the lawless days of western cowboys it was sacrilegious to even shoot your own enemy in the back. A gunman who did that would be ostracized for life by such an action. I urge the President to take responsibility for the action of his rogue soldiers, compensate and apologize to the families of the victims and ensure that those who did that dastard act are brought to book. At the same time let it be a lesson to opposition activists to never sacrifice human life to advance their own greed for power disguised as “protesting electoral fraud” when such issues are best left to the competence of the courts.

  5. Expecting Ngwena to apologize for 7 deaths when he cannot apologize for the more than 20 000 Gukurahundi victims, add to that Murambatsvina, 2008 run off victims and many others lying in unmarked graves is just wishful thinking. This regime is a vampire regime, it feeds on human blood, killing innocent people is their modus operandi

    1. Its surprising you continue smuggling this Gukurahundi topic yet the people of MATEBELELAND SOUTH overwhelmingly voted for ED and Zanupf ,wake up and smell the coffee you are lonely on this one because the people of that region have moved on and your lone voices will not carry the day and even the outside world is now ashamed of having been sold lies by our own brothers in this country, what a SHAME just google for the V11 ,V12 and V23 forms for independent confirmation in case you are in doubt.

  6. Sad developments indeed. This country needs healing. Needs sane people who can promote peace and stability. ANONYMOUS, watch the video of how Cameroonian soldiers killed two innocent women together with their babies strapped at their backs. The so-called soldiers executed those two harmless and unarmed mothers in the name of public justice. That is not the Zimbabwe we are hoping to live in. So ANONYMOUS, I believe you belong in the dungeons of hell. I believe, you were somehow abused as a little kid and all that is flying back at you. You need counselling. Those are the effects, judging from your tone. I could help .. you can come for therapy sessions. And you need to start the process of forgiving your abusers. Don’t always feel that everyone must go through the bad experiences you went through.

  7. It is unfortunate that your paper only interviews only those opposed to Munangagwa. In so doing , you only get political views .The reality is that the MDC is to blame for the violent protests . The people also are to blame for being made to protest when those calling for protests are not protesting with them . As Zimbos , lets make sure that those calling for protests do it in good faith by being among us when we protest . Munangagwa is to blame for the killings as government . The rule of law should deal with the killers .Lets wait for the commission of inquiry as per Mnangagwa’s promise . We will judge him on his action and results .

  8. kid marongorongo

    i support you anonymous, mdc alliance started all this so fair play they must bear their cross.Mbiti and Chamisa are the cause and the people are also ignorant they just follow blindly all because of beer. eish Zimbabweans why. work for your family and stop dying for chamisa and biti they are making a living for their families, their wives are enjoying while you are being butchered for looting because of these childish politicians.

  9. Redcliff representative

    Wolf in sheep,s clothing

  10. How can the commander in Chief not be responsible for what the armed forces did on command? No debate needed here – unless we indeed are a *hithole country.

  11. Vana veZimbabwe kana kwafiwa zvakadai pane nguva yekuchema nenguva yekuzorangarira. its not time for blame game. Maelders akambouya vakambosiya vayambira wani kuti miromo yema politicians ngaigadziriswe nekuti violence inemakuva pasi. this case is of a two sides of one coin

  12. The rule of the road is always that if a driver of a car hits another car from behind, then the former is held negligent or driving without due care and attention. To me it follows that whatever the MDC Alliance did wrong on August 1, 2018, govt should not have gone on to shoot the demonstrators or rioters. Two wrongs do not make a right. And since when is a rape victim to blame for the rape for wearing a mini-skirt? We must grow up enough to apportion blame where it is due. Govt was wrong. Will we have would-be investors feeling encouraged and protected by a govt that reasons this way?

  13. Farai Johnson Nhire

    People need to look at the circumstances leading to this sad event in detail before making all those imotionaly motivated remarks. To begin with, Ed has always encouraged peaceful campaigns and in all his rallies, he emphasised the importance of campaigning in peace. Then comes Chamisa. He started to incite his supporters saying he would never ever accept any other outcome except his victory and even vowed to shut down Zimbabwe if things failed to go his way. President Mnangagwa and the minister of home afairs gave him a stern warning and he ignore, telling his supporters that Mnangagwa was a weak president. He went on to carry out his violent threats at the time the police was all over the country dealing with elections and this is what happened. Even Dr Koffi Anan warned him indirectly but the young man could not read between the lines, with his supporters insulting Anan for the wise admonition given to Chamisa! They have even suggested they are prepared for a war and suggest Trump should suply them weapons

  14. If ED does not know who the marauding rogie soldiers are then let American soldiers come and hunt the goons right now. ED clearly says he did not order the army to kill anybody. Let’s bring foreign army to help ED lovate these goons and the one who gave the order. Maybe they are terrorists.

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