Army, police commanders lied under oath

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda and police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga lied under oath when they testified before the commission of inquiry into the post-election protests that rocked Harare on August 1.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

A report released by the commission, not only accused the police and army of killing six people and injuring 35 others, but also showed that the police and army bosses lied to escape blame for the killings, saying they had followed due process in deploying the army.

Letters published by the commission in its report and video evidence from the BBC and other international media organisations debunked testimonies by the army commanders that soldiers had fired shots into the air.

Matanga told the commission, which was chaired by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe that he had a letter from President Emmerson Mnangagwa authorising the deployment of army personnel to quell the protests, which had turned violent.

Under oath, he told the commission that he would supply as evidence the letter signed by the President ordering the deployment of the troops, but no such letter was tendered before the commission and is not part of the evidence summary provided to the commission, and published in the final report.

“I received a letter from President Mnangagwa approving the deployment of the soldiers. I have a copy of that letter, and I will be willing to provide it to the commission,” he said.

Instead, the report shows six letters, one signed by officer commanding Harare district, Chief Superintendent Albert Ncube, requesting for the assistance of the military to Matanga, who then wrote to the then Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, who, in turn, wrote to then Defence minister Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.

Chiwenga then wrote to Mnangagwa seeking authority to deploy the army before writing to Sibanda informing him that the President had given the greenlight to quell the demonstrations. But no letter signed by the President was ever availed to the commission.

Sibanda told the commission that his orders to deploy from Chiwenga had been received verbally and no letter had been written. However, the Motlanthe report has written orders to the army chief.

“I saw a letter from Commissioner-General of police to the Minister of Home Affairs (then Obert Mpofu), then a letter from the Minister of Home Affairs to the Minister of Defence (then Chiwenga), then a letter from Minister of Defence to the President, requesting assistance from the army. I do not know if the President responded to the letter from the Defence minister. I assume there was verbal communication, I received orders from the Minister of Defence verbally to deploy the military to help the police, there were no written orders to deploy,” he said.

The commission also found that there were no other persons who could have used guns except the army and police, exposing Sibanda and Major-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe, who said those killed during the protests could have been shot at by other persons, who included an alleged armed wing of the MDC.

“The commission has not received any concrete evidence that any persons other that the army and the police used guns during the protests on the 1st of August 2018,” the commission said.
The commission received extensive evidence of the army and the police using live ammunition and firing at civilians, including the video evidence of soldiers firing at civilians, such as that of the kneeling soldier. A ballistics expert found that an AK47 assault rifle bullet had been fired from the street outside Gorlon House into the second floor, and that shots had also been fired into the third floor of the same building.

29 Comments

  1. this article is in bad taste aimed at driving a wedge between the security forces and the ordinary citizens of zimbabwe but alas it shall not be so and in any case the only credible video evidence used was from enc news

    1. It is nothing of the sort. Rather the truth that the Military is out of control

  2. the only credible evidance in your mind dont be naive think .All the pple knew who killed who except yr self and other like mindend pple who are annoyed by the truth . The commissions report is an attestation of what we all know .

  3. That’s your opinion #Anonymous….My perception is that most civilians don’t like the soldiers any more. Given what transpired on Aug 1st, you would really have to be insane to befriend someone who can turn around and shoot you FROM BEHIND at any time. If you are that kind of person #Anonymous, its your choice. But I wouldn’t be surprised. Zanu PF turned its supporters into malleable automatons – incapable of independent thought, feeling or action. Evidence is ubiquitous all around.
    Fortunately, more mature citizens did not celebrate the demise of one individual, Mugabe, because he was not alone in all that he did. Every Zanu PF party member played a part in enshrining evil into the Zimbabwean society. It is this evil spirit which has engulfed the nation into the hell it currently is in.

    1. If I may ask. Did people read the whole report. Why are you being sellective in your comments. The report condemed the MDC Alliance leaders, the rioters as well as the army and Police. So why are we only looking at the Army. Had the demostrators not turned violent, was there going to be the need to deploy the Army. We need to conderm both sides equally as they all played a part in causing this tragedy.

  4. Comment…It shows that Guvheya is the power and ED is a mere puppet.

  5. People, why do you want to keep making noise for nothing? The president himself said it verbaly that there was a need to deploy the army to quel those violent acts. Him, his vp and the commander Pv Sibanda concured on defence forces day this year. The videos are available of all the three men agreeing that there was need to deploy the army and it was all done according to procedure. If you have other issues with the Vp you need to spell them out clearly and not this one. Also the kneeling soldier is seen firing into the air resulting in no death at all. Don’t rely on the edited video. The video of the soldier is found on you tube and the clip is much longer than the one you share on social media. The camera man continues to film after the kneeling and nobody is seen dropping to the ground, the scene that the cameraman would obviously be eager to record. The edited video you share simply does not prove that the soldier shot someone. Instead, the full version actualy proves the soldiers were controling only.

    1. Ofcourse he deployed the army blah blah blah,but all of u r missin the essence of the article,its all about the Zanu mafia & the proof tht they r the law hence they can lie under oath & get away with it

    2. @Farai J Nhire. You are talking absolute bull dung.

  6. Ofcourse he deployed the army blah blah blah,but all of u r missin the essence of the article,its all about the Zanu mafia & the proof tht they r the law hence they can lie under oath & get away with it

  7. @ the burial of the then VP Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo in 1999, the then Head of State Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Chancellor of State Universities stated that the all Gukurahundi victims would be compensated. Now we hear of the compensating the 1 August 2018 victims, after careful study of the report. What Studying needs to be done here. A vicious cycle in the making. Those who lost their loved ones be content you accorded them decent burials. Anhu aa akafanana, ose maGandanga.

  8. #Anonymous …maybe you’re the one with bad taste in your mouth.
    Anyone who can think for themselves (you might be an exception) will never trust someone who shoots people from the back with live ammo…..unless one belongs to the Vampire clan or have Vulcan or Lycan characteristics.

  9. Lie or no lie under oath, the security services of this country, especially the army, are very proffessional. Its a good thing that the Commission noted that their deployment was necessary to quell the violent protests of August 1. Its time to move on and focus on matters that would rebuild the country other than this malicious agenda setting.

    1. Mudzi translated into English its the “root” that part of a plant that grows downward to sustain plant life but in the above its cancerous.

  10. Remedio Fernandes

    The former Secretary of State in USA did not know it was crime to lie to the FBI investigators. Does the same apply here to to our army and police commanders lying to a Presidential Commission? The real question though, is whether any action will be taken? Even when he had the Monlanthe Commission’s report in his hands, the President saw fit to promote Brigadier-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe to the substantive rank of major-general – the one responsible for the unit who shot at civilians. So don’t hold your breath.

  11. Ok..you have analysed the article..sit down and be quiet. The commission was presented and recommedations made, what are you waffling about?

  12. What do you expect from liars? No news here.

  13. Comment…Mutemo unotiyi nemunhu anenge anenyepa muDare remhosva? Matanho anofanirwa kutorwa ngaatorwe pasina huwori.

  14. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Its only in MDCA’s mind that the CDF and the CG lied becuase these commanders were in the same Army that defeated their fathers and grannies be4 independence no wonder why all their supporters dont like the ZNA and ZRP because of its leadership. There is this Japajapa who lied about Chitepo’s death. If you reads a book entitled Meet you in November you will know who killed him. Please know the history of this country first before you talk. You only focus on on latest incidents, go as far back as 1890.

  15. Your Name (required):Special Black

    put read in place of reads. sorry guys.

  16. Nhai gore rino kune Christmas here ?

  17. This article was written in bad taste. Im disapointed in Mhlanga, it clearly seeks to divide the pple frm the armed forces. The deploymnt of the military is constitutional n above board. why is evry1 turning a blind eye as to the cause of the military deploymnt. Wy dd the protestors hv to turn violent and damage property n put lives of thousands of pple in danger?? Selective reading of the Inquiry report…

  18. Comment…lt’s really sad life was lost and no action was taken.What goes around will come around.

  19. Comment…lt’s really sad life was lost and no action was taken.What goes around will come around.

  20. Kuwiriranakwakanakugarakunzwanana Garanewakomurudohamandishe

    Comment…Zakaria 8 vs 16-17, Varoma 1 vs 25, Vakorose 3 vs 8, Mateu 5 vs 33-37, Mapisarema 37 vs 8. Sevanhu vakasikwa naJhovah nemufananidzo wvo ngativenge chivi nguva dzose.

  21. Well, even though the deployment of the soldiers were constitutional, they were not supposed to have shot some deceased people who were in the streets. The issue is not on the deployment of the soldiers but it is on the death of the innocent people who were shot by the live bullets used by the soldiers, which we are referring to as inappropriate force to disperse the riotous crowd.

  22. Mamwe magandanga ari kunyora ma comments like Nhire, Special Black, Anonymous etc haisi herald forum yemadofo ino. Endai munonyepera mapenzi ikoko.
    Nhire doesn’t even know that even youtube videos can be jerrymandered. Dzidza wozouya woisa comment.
    Issue is what happens to civil servants who LIE UNDER OATH? In this case one was promoted. Now, what are the implications constitutionally and legally?

  23. Your Name (required):Special Black

    What more would we expect from you. You still have that old hangover of calling us matororo, magandanga. So you want to know about me before our one and only HE ED and other VIPs know me? Its sad we are pointing at each other when we lost the lives of lovely Zims. Its unfortunate no one wanted this to happen. About the news paper, my friend I am using the little money I have thats why you dont always find me here.

  24. Your Name (required):Special Black

    There you heard it from Rova Mutororo. This is exactly what they said, Rova mutororo! When we started fighting the war. Some of these people still dream that they will rule this country again under the leadership of their son. To those who have lost their loved ones through these misguided Rhodes die hards, think twice. I know some of you were the notorius Special Branch that killed Chitepo and now you claim to be clean. Do you have a lie detector that tells you that they have lied? Wawana ndisina mari.

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