A MIDLANDS-BASED Zanu PF provincial executive member, Farai Nugget Manyima, misled the commission of inquiry into the August 1 Harare shootings that killed seven people by claiming he was not a politician.
BY BRENNA MATENDERE
The inquiry, held by the commission in Gweru, was chaired by its leader, former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Manyima startled the audience while giving oral evidence to the commission.
Before giving his evidence, he was made to take an oath just like any other witness, but went on to claim he was not a politician.
Manyima, who blamed the shootings on MDC Alliance, claimed that he was just a pensioner and was traumatised by the incident.
“I am not a politician. I am just a pensioner and senior citizen in the City of Gweru. My testimony is that as pensioners, we were traumatised by the violence which was called by demonstrators belonging to MDC Alliance,” he said.
“The party’s youths violently demonstrated in Gweru on August 1 and their conduct was linked to what happened in Harare, so we blame MDC Alliance for the violence.”
However, investigations by Southern Eye revealed that Manyima is a Zanu PF Midlands provincial secretary.
In the build-up to the July 30 elections, he contested to represent the Gweru Urban parliamentary seat during Zanu PF’s primary elections, but lost to Esau Natare.
Lawyer and Gweru Urban MP Brian Dube (MDC Alliance) said at law, lying under oath was a serious offence.
“He committed perjury and it’s a serious offence. He is a pervert. It is a clear demonstration of dishonesty. Manyima is blaming the MDC Alliance for winning the elections. That is the only crime MDC Alliance committed. MDC Alliance has won the hearts of the masses, but Zanu PF managed to win the shooting of masses by soldiers,” he said.
MDC Alliance spokesperson, Jacob Mafume, concurred that lying under oath was a serious offence.
“Lying under oath is a serious offence under any fora. It is punishable by a criminal process and it taints the whole evidence that has been given by the individual. The reason to lie is taken as an attempt to colour the evidence,” he said.
Gweru residents last week lambasted government’s decision to have the inquiries conducted in the city when the shootings occurred in Harare, describing the move as a waste of time and resources for the struggling people in the Midlands.
Dube suggested that the commission could simply have made use of videos recorded during the demonstrations.
“The soldier who committed the heinous acts was recorded on camera and is known. So there is no need for questions, especially to people in Gweru who are struggling to make ends meet due to the worsening economy. The people would rather go on to do things that can bring bread to their tables than be subjected to the so called hearings,” he said.
When the inquiries were held in Bulawayo on Friday last week, there was violence with residents protesting against the decision to have the indaba in the city.
They said it did not make sense to have the inquiry conducted in Bulawayo when no such programme was ever held for Gukurahundi victims, which claimed thousands of innocent citizens in Matabeleland and Midlands regions.