Mnangagwa lied over shootings: EU

RELATIONS between President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration and the European Union (EU) hit a new low yesterday, with the influential bloc’s point person in Harare, Philippe van Damme, accusing the Zanu PF leader of lying over post-election violence in the country.

BY Everson Mushava

Brick-bats flew in all directions as the fall-out over a deteriorating rights situation in the aftermath of a hotly-contested election reached a tipping point between Harare and Brussels.

The angry exchange came following Mnangagwa’s sensational claims that his government had not issued orders to the military to use live ammunition, and that Van Damme had, in fact, apologised after failing to prove reports of post-election abuses.

The Zanu PF leader, who came to power on the back of a military operation last November and claimed a narrow electoral victory in the July 30 election that is being challenged by his nemesis MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa at the Constitutional Court, claimed in a recent interview with Independent Foreign Service journalist Peta Thornycroft that Van Damme apologised to him after failing to find proof of victimised citizens on hospitals beds.

He accused civil society groups of fronting a regime change agenda, describing claims of post-election retributive attacks as mere speculation that should be dismissed.

“Let me assure you, the best thing to do is get the list of 150 cases and pass it onto us. This is fake news and it’s flying left, right and centre. We were told (of these cases) by Philippe van Damme, the EU ambassador here, and we took him to task and said let’s go around all the hospitals in Harare and see if there is any record of people in hospitals. He had to later apologise as this was not true,” Mnangagwa reportedly said.

But Van Damme took exception to the remarks and hit back on micro blogging site, Twitter, saying he did not apologise for raising concern over the post-election violence targeted at opposition activists.

“Not sure where you get that from. Ridiculous. Civil society has documented cases of human rights abuses and retribution. We do not apologise, but on the contrary, urge authorities to take these cases seriously. Police has to enquire and protect victims and witnesses,” Van Damme.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi defended Mnangagwa, with his own verbal salvo at the EU envoy.

“What is also ridiculous is that Van Damme came to my office too and I asked him if he had the evidence, and he did not have it,” Ziyambi said.


The Zanu PF official said soldiers were dealt with using internal processes and findings of an internal enquiry ordered by Mnangagwa would be made known.

“At this stage, it is premature to tell you what is happening behind closed doors. What is apparent is that there was an external order and it has to be probed. It is, however, premature to comment on that,” Ziyambi said.

MDC Alliance spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo accused Mnangagwa of trying to abrogate responsibility for the fatal shootings and failing to uphold the country’s Constitution that grants rights to protest.

“Soldiers work from orders of their commanders and Mnangagwa is the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” she said.

National Patriotic Front spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire also blasted Mnangagwa, accusing him of being dishonest.

“Mnangagwa is responsible for the death of the innocent people,” Mawarire said.

“If (Police Commissioner-General Godwin) Matanga usurped the powers of the Commander-In-Chief and staged a coup, so he should be charged with treason. However, what is clear is that Mnangagwa, as usual, is refusing to take responsibility for actions he ordered.”

Political analyst Gladys Hlatywayo said Mnangagwa’s claims were shameful and an attempt to take Zimbabweans and the international community for fools.

“If the soldiers were not ordered by anyone, why is it they have been shielded from accountability? We saw how the State was quick to arrest opposition leaders over the same matter and yet nothing has been done to soldiers who killed unarmed civilians in cold blood,” Hlatywayo said.

Another political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said the conduct of the soldiers showed they were operating under command to execute a planned mission.

“If he [Mnangagwa] as Commander-in-Chief said they were not ordered by anyone, the questions then are who ordered them? What happened to these renegade soldiers who acted in uniform with that official order?” Saungweme asked.

Reward Mushayabasa, a former mass communications lecturer at the Harare Polytechnic who is now based in the United Kingdom, said Mnangagwa’s remarks over the shootings confirmed fears that there were now two centres of power in government.

Blessing Vava, another political commentator, accused Mnangagwa of being economical with the truth, saying soldiers only work under command.

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41 Comments

  1. Hantie varikuti vakawinner,regai vatonge tione Ediots!nxaaaa

  2. This EU point man is a blatant Lier and one can tell that he is fed half baked information by certain quotas and when challenged to produce evidence he becomes hostile and he has now ceased to be a credible representative but an appendage of a political party and a joke.

    1. Trying to apply some cosmetic “make up” to a dead donkey (MDC Alliance). This will not work. This is Zimbabwe and only we will map our future. Machinja mucharira zvenyu mati madii.

      1. fool shut up chitovah are you one of the zanu killers who burnt people alive how many graves you have

    2. He has always been part of the MDC

  3. ED is taking ZIMBOs for a ride I repeat. Soldiers are like a PC, they work when some1 presses the keyboard else it means they are guilty. So someone gave the orders and that someone is ED. If ED says its not him then someone is running the show in this country.

  4. Last November who deployed the army. I find it funny that all of a sudden all sorts of analysts now claim the president is the only one who can deploy the army.

  5. ED is also still refusing auspicing and directing Gukurahundi.

  6. This is the same pattern of denial that was there in the 1980’s when reports of people being butchered in Matebeleland and Midlands surfaced. The screams were “Show us the bodies, show us the victims, EU is lying”. Who were the main actors then? Can a leopard change it’s spots?

  7. Why are the sharp- shooters who shot rioting MDC activists in the back not being court marshaled as is standard procedure in military organizations? If the government fails to manage this big scandal we, as a sovereign nation, may end up swimming in our own political mess.

    1. ‘may end up’? At what point in the last 200 years has this country not been in a political mess?

  8. I once saw a headline that said ‘Chamisa’s world falling apart’. If you ask me it’s evident to all that ED’s world is falling apart. All his talk about a ‘new Zimbabwe’ is being shown to be void. You cannot pour new wine into old wineskins and every tree is known by its fruit. A bad tree (ED+junta+ZANUPF) can never bring forth good fruit neither can these old wineskins (ED+junta+ZANUPF) contain a new culture which is needed for true change in Zimbabwe.

  9. ED is turning out to be a complete disaster of a president in a really very short space of time, by the time 5 years is over Zim will be completely finished as a nation

  10. The beautiful ones are not yet born

    Its not entirely true that soldiers are like PC’s. They can run renegade. Its up to ED to prove that these soldiers acted independently. If there really is an inquiry how long will it take? This should be done ASAP and people brought to account otherwise nobody believe’s ED on this issue right now and the more he says stuff, the bigger the hole he is digging for himself.

  11. its obvious that Chiwenga is running the show. To be honest ED is remote controlled with Rtd General Amby he doesnt make any decision he is an employee of Chiwenga.i think its best for him to say i dont know. Rather than to say no one ordered them

  12. Oh EU, please provide evidence of the people who are hospitalised due to Human rights violations in Zimbabwe. At the very least, the law of evidence should apply. You cannot just take the word of Zimbabwean civil society at fave value. They benefit from the continued perception of ” crisis” in Zimbabwe. The same civil society leaders who are surrogates of the MDC Alliance are the most corru Didn’t Usaid recently withdraw its fubds from ZimRights; the Elections Resource Centre; Heal Zimbabwe and others on the basis of fraud and abuse of funds? Where is the $1.8 million given to the MDC Alliance in March this year by the Government under the Political Party Financing Act? In June, the MDC was crying broke having demolished close to $2 million USD in two months ! They were asking theur supporters to donate money via Ecocash! What bull is that ? If these guys cannot manage small grants what about a national budget ?

  13. Your own leader, i mean the mdc alliance supporters, is in the forefront of dividing the nation and that is our main source of problems. He even divides the army, openly claiming to have some loyalists within the security forces. So when it comes to who is responsible for shooting, the answer is not obvious as Chamisa’s loyalists in the security forces are also capable of committing such acts.We may not be surprised to find that he committed sesious crimes in zec also because his supporters brag that he has loyalists within the commision.

    1. then if yu think chamisa ordered the soldiers to shoot his own supporters then yu are also noothin but a fool like you old uses leaders

  14. kid marongorongo

    murume we EU arikutotyawo kudzingwa basa saka anotoita zvinodiwa nevaanoshandira zvisinei nekuti zvinokuvadza zimbabwe zvakadii nokuti iye haasi muZimba, anotonzi ne EU yacho ko iwe ukanyepera Zimbabwe unobvei mari yako tokupa saka uri kurasika papi.usakura musoro wanzwa.Kana ndiwewo wanzerwo ungadii.

  15. chimwana chosvota ichi ko kumbogadzirisa mapepa ekucort muwinne case basa kutsvaka kwaenda ED uyu mfana haana kana kurongeka, regai zvibirwe dzungu too much pasina chozikamwa.

  16. Zvakaoma izvi tichaona kunoqira tsvimbo nefruit

  17. Zvakaoma izvi tichaona kunoqira tsvimbo nefruit

  18. Zvinei navo zviri kuitika muZimbabwe its better vatisiye nenhamo yedu because ma Sanctions avanotipa anonanga ne the ordinary person not na ED saka its better kugara tichiziva kuti Zimbabwe yakazvimirira pachayo pakugadzirisa upfumi hwenyika

  19. only the commander in chief of the Republic of Zimbabwe have the mandate to deploy soildiers as stated in section 212 and 213 of the Zimbabwe constitution. Its common cause that he is the first responded on the fatal shootings of August 1.

  20. Luke Munya Bikaldo

    Tinei and all like minded people are idiots of a rare species.Makatosiyiwa kare kare nenhamo dzenyu ndosaka muchiona mari isingawanikwi mumabhangi,hakuna mabasa kuvana venyu,mbavha dzirikuba ma govt funds hadzisungwi uye nyika zhinji dzeku Europe hadzichadyidzane ne Zimbabwe.Unoda kumwe kusiyiwa nenhamo dzenyu kwerudziiko nhai Pfungwashoma?If we still have people like this ,then we are still a long way to go before we get a real president.

  21. Mnangagwa never takes responsibility for anything, whether Gukurahundi, Tsholotsho or
    the 2008 rerun violence!!

    1. shunguhadziurayi mangarayi

      But you mdca fools never learn. Chanyiswa refused the demonstrators he commanded and gave bronco when he realized that the grapes were turning sour. Today you fools are claiming they were mdca activists so which is which now? And you think giving ED mhosva yaasina zvinoita kuti maresults achinje munonyadzisa imi. Muma families menyu hamuna vamwe vana vanoita zvisina kutaurwa nevabereki here? Chii chinoshamisa kuti one soldier aite zvaasina kunzi ita. After all these hooligans claimed to be protesters were so violent zvekutotyiwa nemamwe machinja. Otherwise someone among them wanted to disarm a soldier resulting in the firing how do you know when we were all not at the place of sin. So lets leave everything to the enquiry than to conclude that ED ordered the soldiers. So chamisa must take the blame for cars burnt and the looting that took place in town. Is that so? Vaidemonstrator for what reason when results were still being counted. That’s why there are such errors you are celebrating for. You forced ZEC to do things rushingly inorder to meet your silly demands now there are errors you say they were deliberate to make ED win as if you are 100% accurate on all what you do even at your own pace. Munosvota makuvanhu angoei after destruction.

  22. It’s ridiculous the increase of fake ED bootlickers on Newsday comments lately, looks like zanupf is going to have to spend the next five years putting more energy into public relations to defend ED rather than doing anything productive for than nation

  23. Chamisa is the cause of the shooting i head him last time declering himself as the commander in chief of the defence forces

  24. Hapana bootlicking yaunoreva iwe a descendant of ian smith.remniscing the old ways we used to sing kuseri kwa morgan kuzere mabhunu.how prophetic we were.

  25. Wadyajena Usataure zvinorwadza kudaro wazvinzwa. Urinharadada yemunhu. So you think all these people varikutaura all these issues dzekurohwa nekuuraiwa kwevanhu kunyepa. I will not be surprised if you tell the nation again that no one was short and killed in town on the 1st of August. Hauna ganda jena iwe, you are black like me and you are Zimbabwean, very Zimbabwean. Nyaya yekugara tichita sweep the dirty under the carpet, one day the dirt will choke someone. We people will have failed, lets accept it and do something to heal the wounds. President kunyange vasiriivo who ordered the shooting, which we know it was not him, he must quickly take a humble pie and say to the nation, very sorry with what happened we are now going to do this and that to avoid such fatal mistakes. What you must know is that if your cattle go and graze in someone’s field, anowanikwa anemhosva hadzisimombe, it is you the owner and you will take full responsibility uchida usangade. He is the commander in chief, he is responsible. Kusvika rinhi muchihwanda mimvuri yenyu varume? And you know all these things zvinoitika kumisha yevanhu varikutambura, kwenyu kuma northern suburbs you don’t even hear anything. Time will tell and will bear witness one of what people are talking today mumwe adzipwa neganda remhuru. Dont mistake me to be MDC or G40, I am pure ZANU (PF) but I condemn bad practice and will be a beneficiary of corruption which is why some people munoda kuvanza tsika yakaipa.

    1. In fact its 99% lies. Some of the pictures has turned out to be from Nigeria. However, those who call for sanctions against their country deserve the worst

  26. That EU representative is a lier.we know ur regime change agenda using mdc mr white.we will never b a colony again

  27. you don’t even no the definition of the word error

  28. Give us more Balance NewsDay by interviewing pro Zanu activists and analysts. We want to hear their justifications

  29. Chero ED akatadza kutonga anongotonga imi muchingovukura nokuti akavhoterwa nevanhu. Chamisa haachatotongi zvachose nokuti kana ED akasaita kwazvo in the next 5 years tomubvisa toisa mumwe asiri imbwa , nharadada inonzi chamisa. Court inotonga mangwana haina simba to veto people’s votes. Kusvikira nhasi uno chamisa haasati aratidza through evidence kuti akabirwa. Kana uchibvuma manumbers avo avaibika naBiti uri zidofo. Hezvo anodakuenda kucourt asingadi kuti court iite decision yayo. In the civilized world idiots who do not respect national institutions like him can never have thier names on the ballot paper. Ko wakakuudza kuti , imbwa, dofo rakaita saChamitiswa anokwanisa kutonga ndiani? Chiiko chaakamboita chinoonekwa?
    Zvino kana muchifunga kuti Americans and Europeans achakuisai pachigaro musina kuvhoterwa makapusa. Kana vanhu veZimbabwe vasina kukuvhotera hautongi.

    Vana Saungweme maactivists vava kunzi analysts bva Chamisa wacho naJob Sikala neriri Biti maAnalysts vo. Tinozivawo kuti vana Zimbabwe Election Centre , Pachedu , ZimRights etc are conduits used by the EU and the Americans to fund the MDC.

    God will defend the people’s votes, says Chamitiswa. True, God almighty will defend ED’s victory!Satan ,baba venhema, baba vako Chamitiswa will not help you. You know you were beaten but you are not even ashamed to tarnish the image the country. Neni tamakana zvachose! Usauraisa vana vevamwe sezvawakaita musi wa 1 August.

  30. Ko iko kuzonzi Chamisa ava president weZimbabwe, ndiye here anenge achitungamira nyika? I simply cannot comprehend that! Americans should just come up in the open and tell us the truth. Nelson chaiye here? Commander In Chief Of The Zimbabwe Deffence Forces? Guys let me be honest, if this is meant to be a joke, it does not sound funny at all! I strongly believe kuti ma Americans neMaeuropeans vari kuda kuuya vakahwanda nemucheche uyu asi zvisinei gore rino vanopedzerana nemuzukuru waKushanduka.

  31. The combined attempt to “reason” by paid murderers on this forum is so transparent. So many contributors with the combined brain of a single grade 2 drop-out..is chinoz directing their infantile ‘thoughts”?

  32. Am also completely buffled by these strange supposedly urban based but typically rural and dogmatic anti-Chamisa expressed sentiments. Matsotsi. Saka chembere neharahwa dzedu dzata kasiya kuruzevha ndivo bedzi vanokwanisa kunzwisisa the brilliance of yo party agenda over past 4 decades, ahead of the rural aged’s more enlightened urban based children? Would the objective search for biological adults below the political age of consent expect to locate them, in their abundance, in our rural or urban setting? The favourite hunting ground of the ‘superior political suitor’.? And national interest trivially hinges on necessary sacrifice of clean and transparent elections posing neither unfair nor unjust prejudice to either party. Minimum justification ought be sufficient grounds for necessary rerun of the elections, UN supervised rerun. Moments in national history always arrive when national history OUGHT take the ultimate inevitable popular turn,

  33. people have suffered enough,outside interference cannot be relied on to solve a people’s problems circa syria, afghanistan,north africa. they divide and rule and election reruns are pointless and money wasted. time to buckle up and get back to work

  34. Ed pfee, pfee, apa hauna cash

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