Outcry as ED opens shootings probe

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday appointed a seven-member panel to probe the fatal shootings which occurred in Harare on August 1 after soldiers opened fire on suspected MDC Alliance activists, killing seven people, injuring over a dozen others.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

But opposition and civic leaders immediately cried foul over the composition and independence of the probe team, saying some of them were politically compromised and unlikely to produce an impartial report.

The team, which will be led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, has been mandated to investigate the cause of the protests, identify the instigators, police conduct and establish how the military ended up shooting indiscriminately in the city centre during announcement of last month’s presidential election results.

Other members of the commission of inquiry include lawyer and National Constitutional Assembly losing presidential candidate Lovemore Madhuku, Zanu PF loyalist and academic Charity Manyeruke, Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ)’s ex-president Vimbai Nyemba, Rodney Dixon of the United Kingdom, former Tanzanian chief of defence forces General Davis Mwamunyange and former Commonwealth secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria.

Mnangagwa, who leaves for China tomorrow, said he would swear-in the team upon his return so that they could start work and report to him within the next three months.

“The violence happened in the full glare of international media, the inquiry should also happen transparently in the glare of the international community,” he said.

“The terms of reference for the commission are as follows: To inquire into the circumstances leading to 1st of August, 2018 post-election violence, to identify the actors and their leaders, their motives and strategies employed in the protests,” Mnangagwa said.

“To inquire into the intervention by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the maintenance of law and order, to investigate the circumstances which necessitated the involvement of the military in assisting in the maintenance of law and order,” he said.

Police and Zanu PF have already blamed MDC Alliance leaders, particularly Tendai Biti and youth leader Happymore Chidziva among other leaders, as the brains behind the violent protests.

Biti was arrested and charged for inciting the violence, while police are still on the hunt for Chidziva.

MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube said while they welcomed the announcement of the commission, they had reservations over its composition and terms of reference which were not clear.

He said it was worrying that whereas there was a direct term of reference dealing with the police action, there was no direct term of reference addressing the question of who ordered the army into the streets.

“What orders were given to the army, before you can come to the question of whether or not the force which was used was justified in the circumstances?” Ncube asked. “Surely, you ought to inquire as to what were the circumstances which necessitated the calling in on the army. Who gave the orders and did the orders include shooting the victims in the back?”

Ncube said the real reason the commission was being set up should be to investigate how the army ended on the streets, shooting unarmed civilians in the back.

“The only reason of the commission of inquiry is that the army shot unarmed civilians in the back while they were running away. Otherwise need not for that they would be no commission of inquiry,” he said.

Ncube went on to single out Madhuku and Manyeruke, saying the two could not pass for independent commissioners given their political stance in the just-ended general elections.
He, however, hailed the international component of the commission.

“The international members seem to be sufficient, experienced and sufficiently independent. To me, perhaps Nyemba, despite all the appointments to State institutions, also has a sufficiently broad history of independence as LSZ president,” Ncube said.

He said Manyeruke was a Zanu PF apologist and campaigned for the ruling party in the just-ended elections.

“In my respectful view, she (Manyeruke) is not sufficiently distanced from our partisan politics to be able to act independently and impartially and fairly in this matter,” Ncube said.

“Equally, Madhuku might be a lawyer, but such a player so closely involved with our politics as a presidential candidate, as a legal practitioner for one of the presidential candidates, Thokozani Khupe. I am aware that he is also a lawyer representing one other party in the on-going electoral petition. In my view, his eyes are so clouded. It will be well nearly impossible for him to distance himself from the dust of conflict with has imbued our politics.”

Political scientist, Ibbo Mandaza raised the same concerns, saying the local component of the commission was compromised. He noted that this was akin to Mnangagwa and his deputy (Constantino Chiwenga) investigating themselves.

“We were always suspicious that the commission of inquiry might end up as an inside job. In which case, it would be ridiculous to have Mnangagwa and Chiwenga investigating themselves,” he said.

Mandaza said there was no need for a commission in the first place because soldiers were captured live on camera shooting and killing unarmed civilians.

“We saw it on TV. We saw soldiers no more than 20, one can easily identify those persons and not to mention who gave the orders,” Mandaza said.

“Secondly, it’s clear that when the soldiers arrived, the crowd had become tired. Many had left and when the soldiers arrived, most ran away and they were pursued and in my view killed in cold blood.”

42 Comments

  1. We have had many demonstrations in Harare before, and we’ve seen countless more on TV, the world over. If needs be, the police use tear gas, water canons or even rubber bullets. They make arrests.

    So, who gave the order for soldiers to be deployed? What are the identities of those particular soldiers whose faces were recorded as they fired into the backs of fleeing civilians? Under whose instructions did they use live ammunition, something never seen before on the streets of Harare – not even during the war? Some of the remaining terms of reference that were given add insult to injury. And how does the appointment and membership of the commission take precedence over the appointment of the new government/cabinet that will oversee it?

    1. If tear gas and water cannons fail what comes next do police get killed protecting us as two have already or call for help. You are all talk I would like to see you try and stop demo where people are armed with sticks and stones and will not listen to lawful orders. Live bullets worked in this case and property was saved. Would you do nothing if you, your home or business was threatened with burning by irresponsible people with absolutely no self control or discipline? We need those like you to volunteer to stand there unarmed and stop the irresponsible and show us how you fail.

      1. Are you a normal human being or you have killed people before? So you are saying property is more important than human life??? You are stupid

        1. WE have seen much worse demonstrations in Zimbabwe before. So I believe the aim of shooting people was not crowd control but to deliberately terrify people from lawful demonstration in opposition to the rigged results that were about to be announced. The strategy worked. In that case the result of this commission is also predictable.

          1. I don’t know if you’re being stupid deliberately, or just faking it. You rightly say “results that were about to be announced.”, so how could they have been known to be rigged before announcement? Unless there’s something else you are “saying”, or “not saying”.

      2. You are insane John.So is killing innocent people the solution

  2. Firstly the commission is not composed of 2 people. If its composed of all the right people according to ncube and ibo then its not balanced. If ibo knows what really happened as he seems to purpote then he has to write a comprehensive report to the nation then. The commission needs to investigate wy people were in the streets in the first place moving progressivly to see why and who ordered the shooting. Was ncube involved in planning the demonstrations becoz he doesnt seem to want the people to know.

    1. Open your brains a little bit. Some people who got killed were coming from work. yes, some people work for a living while others support Zanu PF for a living – a world of huge differences in actions, thoughts and deeds. One was a Zinwa HR Manager, so I heard.
      Lets think with our brains not party scarves.

  3. let these people be commissioned and the citizens and the world at large get to know the story behind the story in any case we are not going to listen to some barking dogs elections are over and we are now moving on

  4. There is nothing that can justify the deployment of soldiers with live ammunition and therefore the commission is not necessary! They need to deal with the person who deployed the soldiers and soldiers who fired the live ammunition.

    1. Pastor T hausi kuona wabva vazviita contradict? Wati no need for a commission then you also say they need to deal with the person who deployed the soldiers. Who is that person? What events transpired behind the scenes. Hanti its part of the mandate of this commission to find out why the police escalated, who escalated it, and to which army superior & whether the soldiers where given command to shoot civilians or not and if it was justified.

  5. NDI CHIWENGWA

  6. Comments…..the above subject matter is not about elections or demonstrations but who the killers are and who ordered them. we want to know those ghost killers and their godfather, nothing more or less.

    all the terms of reference set down clearly evade the question as to who ordered the soldiers to kill unarmed civilians.

  7. Who gave the soldiers the command to shoot the civilians some of them coming from work. why were soldiers beating up comb drivers? This commission must do the proper job otherwise it is a waste of state funds. According to me even our local headman can handle this case better.

  8. Mandaza clearly saw things of TV we did not. We saw demonstrators armed with stones and sticks or poles who were challenging the police and clearly out of control. I did not see any tired demonstrators nor did Mandaza. He can try and manufacture a situation all he wants but the truth is what we all saw not what he tries to interpret that is why we need impartial apolitical people looking at the scene and ones that will appreciate there has never been a non violent demonstration where property was respected in Zimbabwe. They will also take into account that in the past two police officers have been killed/murdered by MDC demonstrators and consider whether they would like to be a police officer in that situation. What is needed ifs fairness here and justice, no demonstrations are allowed during the election period and with the wooden sticks in hand it was clearly planned. If false illegal results had not been announced pre official ones and no incitement to violence would anyone hsve been killed?

    1. Say whatever you feel like saying coz hapaa hama yako yakafa but what l know is that munhu haaendi ega iye akauraya achazviona ED vanenge vasipo dzinza rake ndorichapera..vanhu ngatifungei tisati tataura why are so inhumane ugowanei pazviri kuzvitukisa nxaa

    2. I wonder how you would feel if your next of kin was the one who got shot by an AK47.

  9. Tichingotonga Vachingovukura

    Even the So called outcry is not coming out from your report. What do you expect if you seek comments from compromised analysts. @Ibboston Mandaza is bitter that as the advisor of the G40 project he failed on the other hand @ Welshman Ncube can’t be independent from the instigators of the disturbances which started from Morgan Tsvangirai House

    1. Uchitongei chinyika chakafa kudai. Vanhu veZANU hamunyare

    2. Your chosen analysts, Ibbotson Mandaza and Welshman Ncube, are not only highly suspect,biased and compromised but their political affiliation also makes them captured thus disabling them from from making an objective analysis of the tragic events that unfolded in the post- election period. It also demonstrates what agenda your media outlet serves, i.e that of advancing the MDC cause.Only people who use a fossil for a brain can claim with a straight face that the likes of former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyouku, Rodney Dixon of the UK and Prof. Lovemore Madhuku would be biased in their final report of the truth behind that tragic event.

  10. If ED needs such a costly & whole commission of inquiry to investigate such a simple matter then we are surely doomed under his leadership, by the time 5 years is over Zim will be in the graveyard of fallen nations without hope of resurrection

  11. And the truth shall set you free

    Also, who incited the mob to demonstrate? Was the demonstration itself justified in light of the fact that ZEC was still within the stipulated five day timeframe for the presidential result announcement? If, as it appeared, the violent demonstration was organised, who were the ring leaders? Was it not akin to quasi-terrorism? Given the vast damage that was indiscriminately inflicted on property, what might have happened had not the men in camouflage been called?

  12. There are also other very important questions, why was Chamisa not present among the protesters when he in the end thanks them for their effort? Who are Chamisa’s sympathisers in the army he himself talked about before? Were they not the ones who did the shooting? What was the purpose of the protests and who was behind them? Why was Tendai Biti running away to another country soon after the incident?

  13. What a waste of resources. How much will this commission cost us taxpayers? Why not have one for Gukurahundi instead, where 20 000 were butchered? or the 2008 post election violence where over 200 opposition supporters were murdered? This seems to be more for ED’s benefit than the deceased’s relatives.

  14. comment….
    John your reasoning is tired. Whatever your tired argument maybe, no soldier is allowed to shot even to advancing demonstrators. In this case the demonstrators were running away, so why did the army shot them? Who brought the army into the street. property might have ben destroyed yes, but that doesnt warrant or justify shooting people. Its barbaric, satanic, evil

  15. Mugabe never send soldiers to kill people 38 years in power he never killed

  16. The mindset of people like John is not only dangerous but barbaric. There can be never an excuse for the maximum force that was used by soldiers on unarmed civilians. Does this John thing know that some of the victims if not majority were just caught on cross fire while doing their day to day errands? Take for instance one of the victims being a form 2 student coming from school & the woman who had just closed her shop intending to run to her car in the melee became also victim of the barbaric attack by the overzealous soldiers who maybe were high on ganja judging from their actions. The bottom line is to establish who gave instructions to soldiers to fire live ammunition on unarmed civilians? How can a sane person shoot someone from the back as if they were confrontational.

  17. this so called John as an ED loyalist i want to believe. why wasting resources when all have seen faces of soldiers who shot people dead. as a first measure soldiers should have used rubber bullets if people had resisted. but as from the pictures and videos one can see and easily tell that when the solders arrived even before firing people started to disperse. with that alone, there was no need for shooting fleeing civilians. ED and Chiwenga are investigating themselves knowing that all the appointed members are their loyalists and are there for money only. nothing will come out of that inquiry. EDiot is trying to hide by a finger only to make the world believe he is changed from being a murderer but who on this earth if not on his payroll can believe in such nonsense. To hell with your inquiry Mr EDiot, what i know is you are just a merciless, coward and ZEC, Con Court endorsed president. Silently use your iron feast to destroy our beloved Zimbabwe knowing one day what happened to Mugabe will also happen to you. voetsek you fake and self endorsed leader. a thief, dictator

  18. shunguhadziurayi mangarayi

    Vanhu wemdca masatanists they did that those demons to make sure their handlers keep the sanctions in place. They started as a peaceful demo though not justified as ZEC was still receiving and colleting the results. But after realising that their aim of entering the HICC to collect and destroy the ballots were countered, they were instructed by chamisa and biti to throw stones destroy property so that the security forces will be involved, and once that has happened their masters will quickly issue out statements and extend sanctions. As you can see all the mdca people are pretending to sympathise with the bereaved families and try to label the whole incident as perpetrated by ED, or his vices. Now they are talking of investigating who gave soldiers orders to shoot as though shooting occurred first before the destruction of properties. Why not call to start with the causers of the demo and their aim? It is the demo that caused the firing of bullets and it was after police were being overwhelmed by the rogue demonstrators that the Army was called in. The composition of Commissioners is the best not what these idiots are saying.

  19. if I had a gun on that day I would have killed many of those thugs.IF those hired young men I saw on that day had been left alone the fires would be burning right now and the numbers of dead people would be staggering now ,those thugs were prepared to kill. I saw them with my own eyes…did some nonentity say Harare would become ungovernable?

  20. I do not see the outcry as portrayed by the headline. Anyway why critic the appointment of the commissioners, why can’t we wait for the actual report.

  21. The army can be brought in when a situation goes out of hand but not to use live arminuation. We need a independent inquiry from outside, yes. An inquiry should starts from who called the demonstration, the their reasons of calling it who
    were ,the participant, what the police did and failed,who called the army, what was it instructed to do. Which soldier did what.who were the deceased where were they shot,which hospital the were treated. Who are the survivors. Then recommendations ,Prosecutiion if need be and lastly compansate the victims family. This talk of its an expensive process is just trying to hide behind one’s finger. We need the truth

  22. show me anyone who is not politically compromised here in zim and i will show you a LIAR

  23. kid marongorongo

    i didnt know Ncube was so dull President clearly outlined what questions were to be answered by the commission and Ncube is saying he did not spell it right reiterating to the same issues the president raised. You will wonder what type of a lawyer is he. this is the problem with MDC Alliance, they incited violence when results were still being announced hey. why are they forced to comment, or they have to do it even if they are not sure of what they say.

  24. You interview the usual idiots such as Mandaza and you say they is an outcry. You seem to have taken that warped thinking from the MDC. If they see 5000 at their rally,they say the whole country is with us.

    Coming back to the comments by my colleague readers,security personnel anywhere in the world shoot at violent protesters. Those that dare throw stones during demonstrations in the USA are shot dead by police in broad day light. On average more than 1500 per year people are shot dead by the police in USA in circumstances where they would not be as violent as the MDC hoodlums were on 1 August. The police tried to stop the violent protesters using the usual crowd control methods and failed. The idiots were destroying private property with reckless abandon.Should the security forces have folded their arms and leave God to restore order. No, what they did was correct. Unfortunately and regrettably, in doing a good job some innocent people were caught in cross fire.

  25. Outcry???? What outcry? Two opinions from dubious compromised people surely cannot be termed outcry. Tipei ma serious Newsday. Anyway what is an illegal demonstration? What are u supposed to do and are not allowed to do in a demonstration? If u start burning cars, stoning buildings and beating people up is it still a demonstration? The killing of 6 people was wrong and should be condemned in the strongest terms. And please Mr Chamisa stop issuing inciting messages to your supporter for the good of Zimbabwe

  26. It will back fire definitely. We saw the soldiers firing. Demonstrators were unarmed civilians. It is easy job we simply want to know who send the soldiers to kill civilians. Surely someone in the Barracks knows it.Even Chiwenga knows it that is the reason why he is quiet about it.By the way Biti and Chidziva do they instructed soldiers to kill civilians? God have mercy with Zimbabwe. John must be terrorist.

  27. the zanupf devils will make sure there is a cover up away with chinese missiles away pasi ne colonisation by chinese goose take your missiles back to china

  28. Farai Johnson Nhire

    VaMnangagwa, musanyeperwe. Never allow the so called peaceful protesters to engage in criminal activities. That is how that terrible situation in Syria started. Mdc Alliance leaders must come up in the open and explain to the world what the purpose of the demonstrations was. I remember the leadership of the party claiming that they were demonstrating about Zec’s delay in announcing presidential poll results but at the same time they say there was no result to be announced since no verification had been done. So why did these people demonstrate? Chamisa and Komichi, Please explain. Why did your supporters demonstrate??? There was no result yet according to you. You had not verified any results but your supporters were demonstrating to force zec to announce the results! Which results did you want Zec to announce?

  29. “We were always suspicious that the commission of inquiry might end up as an inside job.” So IBBO MANDAZA considers himself “WE”? Hahahaha!

  30. Everyone in Zimbabwe was kin to know who shall win Mnangagwa or Chamisa. Destroying people property must be condemned in our country. This only started now but I don’t think there was need to use excessive force. The only problem is that when the soldiers started shooting was there any confrontation with civilians? Most of those dead people were shot from the back running away from them meaning there was no one fighting back. Who ever instructed the soldiers to shoot to kill must take responsibility.

  31. Most of the comments above really make me sad to be a Zimbo right now. Our society is hugely polarised to an extent that you find somebody justifying a soldier kneeling in a aiming position to shoot a civilian. The demonstrators might have been wrong but to shoot people who you have sworn to protect. What if it was your mother or wife who got shot in the back would you still feel the same. had been shot

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