HomeLocal NewsArmy, police killed protesters: Report

Army, police killed protesters: Report

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SOLDIERS and police who were deployed to quell post-election protests which rocked Harare on August 1 killed six people and injured 35 others, while their use of live bullets was “unjustified and disproportionate”, a commission of inquiry set up by President Emmerson Mnangagwa said in its report, which was made public yesterday.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

The commission, which was led by former South Africa President Kgalema Motlanthe, challenged the Mnangagwa administration to be accountable by taking action against members of the army and the police who had violated their professional code of conduct and also wants the State to compensate victims of the violence.

In its 113-page report, the commission said the deaths and injuries were a direct result of the actions of the army, which was under the command of Major-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe, then brigadier general of the Presidential Guard and tactical commander of the National Reactional Force.

“It is undisputed that six people died as a result of gunshot wounds, and according to the evidence from the two major hospitals, 23 people were injured as a result of gunshots, and one person of assault,” the report read.

“The commission’s findings on a balance of probabilities from all the evidence received is that the deaths of these six people and injuries sustained by the 35 others arose from the actions of the military and the police.”

Mnangagwa told journalists yesterday that the commission said the force used by the army and the police in dispersing the protestors was disproportionate.

“The use of live ammunition, directed at people, especially as they were fleeing, was clearly unjustified and disproportionate. The use of sjamboks, baton sticks and butts of the gun to assault members of the public indiscriminately was also disproportionate,” part of the statement on the report read.

“It is imperative for the police to urgently complete their investigations to enable the prosecution of those persons responsible of all alleged crimes committed on August 1, 2018.

“Those particular members of the military and of the police found to be in breach of their professional duties and discipline should be identified as soon as possible for internal investigations and appropriate sanction, which should include hearing from the victims and their families for impact assessment and provide appropriate compensation,” the commission recommended.

Government escaped censure over the manner in which the army was deployed, with the commission saying it was legal and in line with the Constitution, although corners were cut.

“The fact that the police were severely depleted because of duties at polling stations throughout the country and that they were ill-equipped did not help the situation, as the demonstrations degenerated into a riot, the police were overwhelmed,” the commission said.

“The evidence showed that the government deployed the military in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law. The commission also considered that while the deployment of the military was lawful, the operational framework was not fully complied with in that the deployed troops were not placed under the command of the Harare Regulating Authority (police).”

The commission berated the police, saying if it were adequately experienced, better equipped, sufficient in numbers and more suitably organised, the deployment of the military could have been avoided.

It also placed some blame on the MDC for the protests, saying the statements made by the opposition before and after the elections agitated people to protest.

“Having considered all the evidence, the commission found on a balance of probabilities that speeches made by political leaders, mostly the MDC Alliance, before and after the elections, heightened tensions and played a part in inciting some members of the public to protest,” the report read.

The commission said the MDC Alliance had taken a position that if their presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, did not win the election, they would protest. It concluded that the protests were a result of implementing the threat.

The Motlanthe-led commission said the protests were unlawful, violent and could have ended in chaos had the military not intervened.

“The demonstrations were unsanctioned in terms of section 25 of the Public Order and Security Act as the police had not been notified. According to evidence received by the commission, police orders to disperse the protestors were not effectively carried out. Evidence showed that the demonstrators employed a tactic of appearing, dispersing and regrouping at different locations, thereby making it very difficult for the police to disperse them,” the report read.

Government was also urged to compensate the victims of the military shooting, including ensuring that dependents of school-going age are sent to school.

“The payment of compensation is recommended to all victims of the violence and dependents of the deceased, where the deceased had young children be urgently assisted with school fees and their general welfare. The government should put in place a special committee to ascertain and determine the quantum of damages and compensation to be awarded to victims on a case by vase bases,” the report said.

The commission called on the introspection of the action by the army and to make their findings public to ensure no such action happens again.

“The military should conduct an immediate full audit of its standing orders and procedures for engaging in law and order enforcement operations, including riot control, in order to identify in an appropriate public report the lessons learnt and tailored safeguards to be undertaken to prevent any indiscipline that could lead to the loss of life and injury in the future,” the commission said.

It also called for dialogue to end deep-seated political polarisation in the country.

“The commission recommends the establishment of national multi-party reconciliation initiative, including youth representatives with national and international mediation to address the root causes of the post-election violence,” the report read.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. I urge civilians to come together and kill any soldier they come across. There are many ways of killing these Zanu soldiers.

    • What about those whose property was destroyed by rowdy Mdc supporters, are they going to kill those supporters urimboko yemunhu, dont judge issues emotionally,ndimi vanhu vanokonzeresa anarchy munyika vakaita sewe and i think you are one of those who incited the August violence. Pasi pasi newe.

  2. Whilst on the balance of probabilities the shootings by the army may have caused the death of innocent civilians let it also be clear that in the same report its highlighted that the authors of the mayhem were MDC leaders and the whole hullabaloo was pre-planned and its high time that some extracts of the recommendations are implemented to eliminate a recurrence of such uprisings at the instigation of reckless politicians.

  3. Comment…The utterances by Advocate Nelson Chamisa and youth leader Happymore Chidziva in Gweru incited mdc-a supporters to riot and left the security forces with no option but to stamp their authority, unfortunately six civilians died. Both parties now know better, with the urban civilians having learnt that death need only a bullet. No mdc-a leader was injured or killed as they hid, Biti fleeing to Zambia.

    • Where is the report? Why can he not publish the entire report and let us read it ourselves? What just happened is that he extracted what he wanted to extract and left a whole lot of things in there and yet we are all here jumping into baseless conclusions about who is responsible. WE WERE NOT GIVEN THE REPORT, BUT RATHER, A REPORT ON THE REPORT!…
      I think from here you now understand the amount of alterations and interpretations that have taken place.

    • SAGITARR, you have one of the shallowest brains I have come across. It’s there in the report that the police and soldiers had been overwhelmed by the violent thugs who were wreaking havoc and destruction in the city.

  4. so you are telling me that MDC A is not going to compensate mashop akapwanywa and looted items by their supporters?

    • How do call them MDCA supporters while there where not in party regalia we should use sense here a report should be placed to the public not to re- write another report truth i
      am not understanding what you are saying here

  5. Where is the report? Why can he not publish the entire report and let us read it ourselves? What just happened is that he extracted what he wanted to extract and left a whole lot of things in there and yet we are all here jumping into baseless conclusions about who is responsible. WE WERE NOT GIVEN THE REPORT, BUT RATHER, A REPORT ON THE REPORT!…
    I think from here you now understand the amount of alterations and interpretations that have taken place.

  6. Where is the report? Why can he not publish the entire report and let us read it ourselves? What just happened is that he extracted what he wanted to extract and left a whole lot of things in there and yet we are all here jumping into baseless conclusions about who is responsible. WE WERE NOT GIVEN THE REPORT, BUT RATHER, A REPORT ON THE REPORT!…
    I think from here you now understand the amount of alterations and interpretations that have taken place!

    • Shame man! Seems you are new in Jerusalem. You haven’t seen the report by now? It’s available on the Commission Website and people have been sharing it since yesterday. I am surprised you didn’t know. However, you must always ask politely before accusing anyone. Here you are being apprehensive as if the document was not made public. It’s very unfair. You can even do a simple google search to access the report. Ask a few friends to send you via Whatsapp as well. The report is everywhere… NO, it hasn’t been leaked. It has been officially released!!

      • thank you for correcting some people with wrong notions. thats the problem we have in our country at the moment, when one doesnt know, he wants to make a lot of noise unfortunately to people who have knowledge. its a shame. well done.

  7. Our Military and all security services need major rebranding and retraining, but first Sanyatwe and Sibanda must resign there are a shame to the forces. ED should also be ashamed of himself having told the nation that he did not deploy the army.

  8. is anybody in their right minds say that anyone who demonstrates/protests , should be killed.
    The issue here is that innocent people were killed.
    The big question now is IF THE ARMY DEPLOYMENT WAS IN ORDER, how come Munangagwa did not know about the deployment.

  9. Whatever Chamisa said is not an issue, the law should have taken its course when he incited his people. From the report, it is quite clear that government knew that protests were coming and it was incumbent of them to prepare accordingly. All signals were pointing to these protests and its shocking that the police were not prepared. And to turn around and partly blame the army’s shooting on other people is really unfair.

  10. That one named Josh HD is a fool and is rushing to complain about the release of a report whose release was made public by the President yesterday. Dzungu asekuru dzungu munoriwanza

    • I also subscribe to what you have stated. Remember, as usual, the Commission had been judged this and that. Thanks, they stuck to professionalism. those fingered should be brought to book. People must be responsible in their talk and actions

  11. 1. The electoral proccess was going on well and the opposition had no reason for oragnising chaos. 2. Even if this had not been the case, the opposition had a lawful way of dealing with their grievances. There was an electoral court in place composed of 35 judges sworn in by then acting chief justice Elizabeth Gwaunza with the sole purpose of handling election disputes. This provision was never used by the opposition although it has so many legal experts in its ranks. 3. Senior members of the opposition deny responsibility although the report indicates otherwise. 4. Some firearms were reported to have been used from some buildings and this needs further investigation. 5. President Mnangagwa has the choice to use the report in whichever way he sees apropriate and he has not yet told us how he will use it.

  12. REPORT REPORT WHAT ,can you guys just bury yo differences ,me what i want to see is my salary being enough for me and my family

  13. not saying that the MDCA did, but delivering violence inciting speeches does not justify the uniformed forces’ killing of innocent, starved, hungry and cheated citizens

    • wars are not started by firing bullets….its the language and actually the tongue that starts it all….never forget that. events leading to a war starts with words…hope nobody intelligent enough can run away from that truth.

  14. its important that we all go into seriously looking at the calibre of our politicians and asks ourselves whether we should follow what they advocate for or choose not to especially when they dump you after such a tragic incident and yet when they were campaigning, their language was advising people to go into streets;’hakudyiwi rinopisa kana ndisina kuhi ndini ndahwinha blah blah blah’ are you serious?

  15. nothando ur an idiot how can you protect earthic things than to protect human life ungaswere uchitaura zvinhu zvakaputswa uri musatanist iwe u will be happy ka uchiona ropa richideuka

  16. GUNS DONT KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.ARREST ALL THOSE WHO WERE INVOLVED IN INCITING VIOLENCE AND THOSE WHO FIRED AND KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE.

  17. Chamisa and kudira jecha cabal are held responsible for the deaths period.
    those 6 could not have been shot if nothing of that sort happened.
    The mob was armed and the armys involvement was justified

  18. pamusoroi hukuru hunoremekedzwa wenyika.Mr president tangatichikumbirawo mutibatsirewo maschool fees akwira apa ndiri mushandiri wehurumende pay yangu haina kuweedzererwa asi i am expected to pay fees yakawanda chikumbiro changu ndechekuty mupindire muvaudze vasadaro veduwe zvinhu zvakaoma izvi zvinhu zvaoma

  19. pamusoroi hukuru hunoremekedzwa wenyika.Mr president tangatichikumbirawo mutibatsirewo maschool fees akwira apa ndiri mushandiri wehurumende pay yangu haina kuweedzererwa asi i am expected to pay fees yakawanda chikumbiro changu ndechekuty mupindire muvaudze vasadaro veduwe zvinhu zvakaoma izvi zvinhu zvaoma

  20. This inquiry only showed that Zimbabwean military is partisan – singing for their supper. Post-event construction.
    The army and police officials were telling blatant lies. A rifle which is level with the floor is at 0 degrees not 45 degrees as is in the pictures taken on the day.
    Compare this episode to much more violent riots in France which have gone on for 5 weeks with no one shot dead. People have a right to protest.
    The mere fact that the army said it had received intelligence that MDC was going to storm State institutions shows the army and police were prepared to go gung ho to make an example by shooting unarmed civilians. This was pre-meditated shooting.
    On the 7 August 2018 the army commander stated that he did not know who ordered the deployment of the army but at the Commission he changed his tune.
    What a farce.
    This only serves to confirm what is already known that Zimbabwe is a tumultuous tyranny still.
    Sanctions should be widened and tightened against the junta.

  21. Josh HD, is right. ARIKUVHUNZA KUTI, SEI REPORT YAKATANGA KUPIHWA PRESIDENT ISATI YASVIKA KUVANHU??? THE CHANCES ARE HIGH THAT, THE REPORT WAS TEMPERED WITH.

  22. Among the protesters, its obvious, were some pro Mugabe supporters. Dont blame MDC, blame Zec for delaying announcing the results. ZEC, ZANU, ZNA ARE TO BLAME FOR THE CHAOS.

  23. REVENGE IS NEEDED, THE 6 OR MORE POOR SOULS MUST NOT JUST GO WITHOUT A FIGHT. WHOEVER SEND THE ZANU SOLDIERS TO KILL INNOCENT CIVILIANS MUST NEVER KNOW PEACE.

  24. I would like to say losing your loved one is painful. When we attend funerals of a distant or someone you are not related to you are not sometimes seriously touched. What about someone who lose a bread winner in a family. Unlawful protests are done the world over, but can we justify such killings in this day and age. Remember we are Zimbabweans if we preach peace and sow the seed of brutality at night what does it mean. See what happened most of the victims. They were doing their own daily businesses.How can someone shoot at people fleeing. How people try and argue on the case of a soldier who was seen shooting unarmed civilians. Well if we are correct why keeping elections results when all had been finished. This shooting was a well planned issue to make future noone would challenge the government.Kwaakungoti vanhu ava vanouraya. See what happened in Matebeleland and Midlands in the 80s. The people were and are afraid to speak out. The same situation was being repeated to signal an era of new gov. like the 80s. Violence by protesters no,but use of live ammunition was unwarranted and a sign of despotism.

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