‘Shootings inquiry a charade’

Zimbabwe National Army military police officers walk past vendors along Speke Avenue this morning.

THE opposition MDC Alliance says the on-going public hearings by a commission probing post-election violence that left seven people dead on August 1 is “a choreographed charade” meant to sanitise the actions of the army and to protect President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

By Everson Mushava

The army opened fire on civilians as part of a military crackdown that followed the disputed July 30 presidential election won by Mnangagwa — recalling the dark days under former President Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in November last year.

The seven-member commission is led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, and is currently holding public hearings into the shooting at a local hotel, but the witness stand has been stacked with mainly Zanu PF supporters and officials while the composition of the commission itself has been questioned.

“You can see with what is happening that (the commission) is not aimed at producing justice, but a predetermined conclusion. That is why Zanu PF supporters are making a beeline to go and try to cover up by blaming the MDC Alliance, which does not control the military,” MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda told NewsDay.

“But then, an illegitimate president cannot undertake a legitimate exercise.”

MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the party would not “sanitise the farce”, which “is nothing more than a cover up”.

“The whole exercise is a choreographed event meant to provide a platform for Zanu PF supporters to shield the entire leadership of the illegitimate regime from liability,” he said in a statement.

“It is clear the sham commission of inquiry has narrowed down to investigate civilian activity when the actual issue is supposed to be on how soldiers ended up in the streets, firing live ammunition at unarmed civilians.

“We restate the point that there was no need to set an inquiry into the conduct of the military if the State had complied with section 210 of the Constitution, which provides for the establishment of an independent complaints mechanism against members of the security forces.”

Mafume said the MDC Alliance had reservations against the commission, which has failed to summon the soldiers who killed the innocent civilians.

But one of the commissioners, Lovemore Madhuku, yesterday said the commission would summon the army to give evidence.

Mafume described the commission, appointed on August 29, as unlawful because it was done without the consultation of the Cabinet, which was not in place at the time, contrary to section 110(5) and section 110 of the Constitution.
The MDC Alliance also has expressed reservations with the appointment of University of Zimbabwe duo of Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke, whom they accuse of being aligned to the ruling party.

The terms of reference of the commission did not provide for the establishment of who called the army into the streets and gave the soldiers the order to shoot.

He said the inquiry should have emphasised on the need to establish who deployed the soldiers and if due process was followed in the deployment.

“In our view, the police who have already said they are investigating the violence and have, in any case, arrested scores of people, were simply supposed to be empowered to investigate even the soldiers,” Mafume said.

“The terms of reference of the commission are wrong, misdirected and a wild goose chase sadly funded by taxpayers’ money. The rightful terms of reference must hold accountable those behind the trigger.”

Following the shootings, police initially said they had requested for help from the army, as it was constrained, with police officers occupied with election business countrywide.

Foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo‚ a retired general‚ however, later told journalists that the shootings were carried out by rogue elements of the military that took to the streets and not members of the army.

The shootings by the soldiers and their beating of unarmed protesters set back Mnangagwa’s efforts to shed Zimbabwe’s pariah status after decades of repression under Mugabe.


  1. i thought everyone is free to go and make presentation based on what was observed were is this charade coming from lets be honest ladies and gentlemen

  2. Kuvhumuka chati kwatara hunge unekaturike.siyayi vanhu vaite basa ravo.why jump the gun?ndozvakakonzera mhirizhonga izvozvi kumhanyira zvinhu pamberi.

  3. MDC should simply be ignored because they evidently oppose everything. They feed off disorder and chaos at the instigation of their western handlers who have used the same strategy in Libya etc to the detriment of the citizens. As for me, even if this govt fails, i will never vote for these vultures who delight in feeding off carrion.

  4. Property was lost, lives were lost. When investigating, you follow a certain line. It can be seen that the commission would want to establish who damaged property, and how it all started. Who instigated the violence that led to the destruction of the property. From there, the commission is investigating the government response to the riots. What was the reason for the army to be called in. Who instructed them, and what were their instructions. Did they follow those instructions. Was the force used appropriate in the circumstances? The MDC obviously want the commission to concentrate only on the killing of the people, and never on the circumstances prevailing before the killings. We the sane, want the commission to look into the whole picture, and their investigations should never spare the MDC, Zanu PF, the police or the army. Everything should be known. So the MDC should not discredit themselves by rejecting the commission findings, which are not yet there. This gung-ho style is what cost them victory during the Con-court hearings.


  5. Newsday and MDC are only after negative things on Zimbabwe. Everyone is free to go and say what he/she saw and not think. Obviously they have to start on why people were demonstrating, and then even police and army will be called. Can you see how the ZCTU lawyer was lying in support of MDC. kkk kwanzi ndakaona 2 gun cartridge in our 2nd floor offices. Zvikanzi ukazoitei necartridge racho. Zvikanzi i willhave to confirm with the security how it was disposed. Haazive kuti after firing cartridge rinodonhera pedo nepfuti. hariendi nebullet. kkkkk

  6. *Mnangagwa August 1 military killings into perspective*
    We have two guys, Themba and Ngoni walking down the street. They come across a beautiful, sexy lady and man-talk ensues, Ngoni says ‘hey she is damn beautiful! Look at the legs and hips dude!’
    Then Themba cant hold it in, so he, alone, follows the beautiful lady and rapes her…
    Mnangagwa and his Zanu Pf bufoon supporters somehow believe the rape case investigations should focus on Ngoni’s remarks since they are ‘the cause of the rape act’.?

    • with all due respect Mzi Maboyi example yako yakadhakwa. where does the burning of vehicles at the ZANU pf offices fit in your example. why are you concetrating only on the end result which though was wrong was insigated by violence at the offices.

  7. I wonder at the mental state of those who support murderers. One day that murderer will put a bullet into your tinpot head.

    • Say whatever names you can give to ZANU PF but the bottom line is why did the police came to monitor the demonstrations and at some point at ZANU PF Headquarters fire some tear gas? When these hooligans were demonstrating without violence no one ever thought soldiers will be called in and it was unnecessary by then. But after getting intoxicated with beers they were being given and given instructions by biti they started throwing stones damaging vehicles at ZANU PF HQ and everyone including some peace loving MDCa members wished the Army could be called in as they saw that the police were seemingly overwhelmed though on the actual sense they were just negligent to deal with the situation. So sagitarr if you love your party to the extent of defending its rogue behavior then you are also likely to receive a bullet one day. There is no sane person who can let a bunch of thieves from a violent sponsored party to put the nation in fear. I for sure only sympathize with those victims who were caught in the cross fire. For those who were directly involved in the destruction of other people’s properties they deserved a bullet. Even myself if I behave in such a manner which violates other peoples’ freedom i will deserve one in the head.

  8. The opposition should leave this college politics and realise that they now occupy a responsible part in Zimbabwe’s life.Zviya zvekuti Chamisa na Hwende tenge tiri paAfrica Unity Square takamirira Chombo kuti aaddress from his office zvakapera.The country is looking more up to you than kuZanu.What it only needs is to realise that you have become responsible.Kwete dzungu ramurikuita iri.You will regret

  9. Thats why its called opposition party . They can even oppose where they are facts . In doing so they are pulling down the economy while others are trying to build it

  10. I have observed that the charade of multi-party democracy, whose hallmark are credible elections, among other things, is not yet ripe and ideal for a politically immature landscape in Zim. Both the “winners and losers” of elections do not seem to understand their respective roles in nation building. It is only fixations with occupying the State House and levers of power. An equally gullible and naive electorate is easily manipulated into murky political agendas instead of concentrating on life-changing initiatives and work cultures that ultimately contribute to the economic well-being of a country.Ever election year, the country is brought to a virtual standstill with fixations on the elections only-results,observers, commissions, violence, accusations and counter accusations etc.Nothing like new agendas on economic development and a new work ethic to create wealth.This is a sick country.Maybe need for benevolent dictatorships like those which built nations and brought prosperity to the now Asian tigers.

  11. Personally the appointment of this commission its a sheer waste of time and resources. Everyone knows what happened on the fateful day, the one who gave the order and the one who executed the order brought before the courts. Instead of taking a much shorter route to the solution, that will not squander much resources they opted for the longer one that will usurp much resources and thereby infringe more harm to this our limping economy. Whatever they are going to find out will not canonize the brutal killings of the seven people, the act on itself is evil. May their souls indeed rest in eternal peace of Christ

  12. Kana kuine vachiri kuvimba ne MDC Alliance then you are totally lost.

    You cant even see where the tide is going apa mukutitambisira nguva tichangosvika 2023 kusina a serious opposition

  13. The way how this investigation is taking place appear childish. If you look on ztv how this is being presented, you can not see the seriousness of these so called commission of inquiry. Resources are being wasted here. How much are these people getting from executing this inquiry. That is wasting our diamond monies.This is drama i tell you. We are talking about human life here but people are going about showing the commission window panes which were broken. So his excellency call these people to see how buses and cars were burnt. I am not seeing the logic here. Soldiers shot people dead period, and that we want to know who commanded the them to do so.

  14. People should realise that our nation has a leadership which is responsible to see that the nation does not descend into anarchy, even if it means sacrificing a few hotheads to demonstrate their seriousness. To date, Syria has lost almost half a million citizens but the whole situation was triggered by something seamingly so simple. Vanhu vanoda kunyepera hutsvene idzo dziri honzeri havadiwi munyika. Manomano emuroyi kunyepera kutya dzvinyu iye akasungirira nyoka muchiuno. Some of these opposition leaders are actualy being paid by foreign agents to forment anarchy delibarately. And i also have a word of advice to opposition supporters: nyaya dzinechekuita nekubisa mutungamiri wenyika pachigaro nechisimba kunyanya muno muafrica hadzisi dzedambe nadzo. Dzinotouraisa, Kuti fi fi fi chaiko.

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