Aug 1 inquiry: ED put on spot

LAWYERS, human rights groups and opposition parties have expressed fears that the report by the commission of inquiry into the post-election violence in which the military allegedly killed six civilians will never be made public after Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said the report was meant for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s eyes “only”.

BY OBEY MANAYITI/EVERSON MUSHAVA

Charamba was quoted by the State-controlled media on Monday saying Mnangagwa had the discretion to make the report public or not, but experts said such utterances defeat the constitutional spirit of transparency and accountability.

In September, Mnangagwa appointed a seven-member commission, led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe to probe the killings. The commission concluded its hearings last week and gave Mnangagwa an executive summary of its findings last Thursday while a full report will be presented ‘before December 19.’

“Members of the public entertained a reasonable expectation that results will be made public. The President is obliged to do so because of public expectations,” lawyer Alec Muchadehama said, adding that although the commission of inquiries Act is silent on what the President can do with the findings of the commission, the rule of law advocates for due process and, therefore, there should be finality to any process.

“Section 62 gives citizens some rights to information. The citizens have the right to information held by the State for public accountability purposes. Even the media has the right to know. Section 5 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act also gives people the right to information. Even under international best practices, the people have the right to know the outcome of a process they participated in.”

Muchadehama said the Commission of Inquiries Act was a colonial relic which contradicts the new Constitution’s right to information. He said it does not say whether or not the President must keep the outcome of an inquiry, but due to people’s reasonable expectations, Mnangagwa was obliged to release the report.

“There are already questions surrounding the Chihambakwe report (the report on inquiry into the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s), Mnangagwa should try to earn the public’s confidence by making it public or this will satisfy our suspicion that the inquiry was an international public relations gimmick.” he said.

Kudakwashe Hove, another lawyer, said Charamba’s statements were a threat to the people’s right to access to information as enshrined in the Constitution.

“People died and information in the public interest and public good should be disclosed. Even if the Commission of Inquiry Act can give Mnangagwa such right, the Act will be ultra vires the Constitution because it denies people the right to information granted in the supreme law,” Hove said.

“Even principles of good governance call for transparency. The Motlanthe Commission was paid using taxpayers’ money. If Mnangagwa keeps the findings, a person who does not have any relative who was killed on August 1, what will the people whose relatives died think? Will this bring closure to the issue?”

He said Zimbabwe should never allow a situation where reports were kept, saying such practice has denied closure to the Gukurahundi atrocities.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director Blessing Gorejena said in the constitutional spirit of openness, Mnangagwa was mandated to make the findings public. Gorejena said they were shocked by Charamba’s statement, describing it as “out of tune” because Mnangagwa promised to make the outcome of the inquiry public when he set up the commission.

She said everyone, more importantly the victims, have the right to know the contents of the report.

Opposition MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said they did not agree that the report was for Mnangagwa’s eyes only “because people were shot in public with everyone seeing, the commission has done its inquiry in the full glare of the public and everyone knows what was said and how it was said”.

“It is an act of futility and dereliction of duty for Mnangagwa to try and shelf this report like other reports such as those on Gukurahundi. We cannot have a situation where public funds are used for one person to see only, public funds are for everyone, so we do not agree.”

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s Thulani Mswelanto said it was unfortunate that the State continued to fund commissions of inquiries using public funds, but the public never gets to know the contents, challenging Mnangagwa to observe values of good governance such as transparency and accountability.

Combined Harare Residents’ Association executive director Mfundo Mlilo said there was no way the report could be for Mnangagwa’s eyes alone.

“The August 1 report is a national report and must be published as soon as it is practicable. If they wanted a private report, why did they make public consultations? There is no other reason why the report could be made private other than to deny Zimbabweans the truth of the August 1 events,” Mlilo said.

Vendors Initiative for Socio-Economic Transformation (VISET)’s Samuel Wadzai whose members were hugely affected by the shootings said if the President wanted to make the findings private, then it was wrong to hold public hearings.

Human Rights Watch director for Southern Africa Dewa Mavhinga said in the spirit of openness, the findings must be made public.

39 Comments

  1. It is such an irony that those organisations clamouring for the release of the findings of the commission are the very ones who use to rubbish the composition of the commission, discouraging opposition leaders and their loyalists from taking part. But let me hint that the reason for that change of heart is very mistaken. It is based on the mistaken view that the presentations of Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa which were largely off topic though had turned the tables against the government. As a mater of fact, it has been very clear to the authorities, who had evething to gain by mantaing a peaceful invironment at such a crucial time when the incoming results were clearly pointing to a Zanu Pf victory that the demonstrations and the shootings are works of the same hands of subotage meant to soil Zanu Pf and its electoral victory. The purpose of the findings is clearly to establish the culprits behind the shenanigans and bring them to book and that is what George Charamba was saying.

      1. Tafara is the real fool, obsessed by his support of the power hungry stogies. If his obsession makes him not to appreciate other people’s reasonable comments and branding them a fool. THEN HE IS THE BIGGEST FOOL OF ALL FOOLS!

    1. @ least there is ECD A and B nowadays.

    2. let not stupidity, bias and prejudice prevail over u……foolish idiot!!!!

    3. You are a big fool. This has nothing to do with Biti and Chamisa’s submissions. You can completely disregard those. The blatant lies your soldiers were spewing out. Do you the Commissioners are so dumb that they could not tell the lies from the truth. Fucking murderers!

    4. on point… cant be said better than this

  2. Don’t worry , the report will be made public because the President said that. In fact he set up the commission against the wishes of these same MDC NGOs and the MDC alliance, who are now agitating for the premature release of the commission report. The pseudo- lawyers that always surprise us with their disrespect of the law & their failure to understand basic legal issues will soon be crying when the report names the instigators of the August 1 violence. I hear crying when some cowardly loud-mouths-small-minds are finally brought to justice. They must thank ED for not being in a rush: it delays their joining Gumbura!

  3. @ least there is ECD A and B nowadays.

  4. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Running a state is not like running around with a human rights begging basket. There is nothing to hide here because every member of the commission knows the findings and recommendations. Now it is only you MDCA lawyers and fake human rights groups that are trying to be heard where you are not supposed to be heard. The final report is said to be out on the 19 th of dec so whats the rush. We thought we will hear you lobbying for removal of sanctions so that our youths get employment. Hey human rights MDCA.

  5. After ED has failed to solve the economic crisis & has in fact made things far worse than under Mugabe we really don’t care anymore or expecting anything good to come from him, he has already disappointed the nation far beyond redemption

  6. True, the same organisations claiming that the composition of the commission was not good are the same crying for the publication of the report. We are tired of their noise making . They just want to prove a point to their funders in the West that they are doing their business of anti-government. Let the Presidency do its mandate without the nonsensical noise.

    All what the so called pressure groups are doing is to fuel chaos. They will never appreciate any developments from the rightfully elected leaders. We are tired of their useless and baseless noise.

  7. It was an exercise in futility in the first place. ED will hang-on to the document for donkey days, doctors it before releasing an edited version that will hang opposition leaders with only one sentence recommending a better crowd control skills by the security sector. Its a pity the Commission cannot release it directly to the public even if the public are the ones footing the bill – Zim is doomed.

  8. This was long anticipated following the turns and twists the inquiry took whereas no sitting govt can ever admit liabiity.
    That justifies my previous opinion that the wasted millions should just have been used to compensate the affected families.
    It was simply an act of buying time to cool the then tense political atmosphere that led to the formation of the commission.
    It takes more than political posturing to heal and reconcile a broken people.

  9. Tozivepi Vanhuvawone

    Comment…Zvagara zvakadaro, handi zvitsva izvo. Ndechipi chimwe chinyorwa
    chemutowo uyu chakawonekwa neruzhinji kunze kweWillogate?

  10. I don’t know why people are making this noise as if the President has already declared that the report is for his eyes only. Charamba was just interpreting the law which the president might chose to follow or not. Let us not put unnecessary pressure on the authorities, you will access the report in the fullness of time.

    1. with our taxes

  11. It does not follow that if you are not happy with the composition of the commission then you must just ignore the outcome.This can only be a Zanu pf supporter`s reasoning.Ed appointed controversial people such as Madhuku and Manyaruke and that is a fact.Madhuku was a presidential hopeful whose judgement can not be trusted at all.It is common knowledge that Manyaruke was a perpetrator of violence against MDC supporters and her judgement can never be trusted at all.

  12. If I heard him right Charamba was referring to the summary of the report not the final report. The summary of the facts and opinions gathered not the final report with recommendations. He said the final report will be made public. I think this is a case of opinionated journalism. Poor journalism just to raise emotions

  13. Musangochemera zwewakuru imimi pedzeranai nenhamo pasi ikoko,kkk,we cant let evry Tom and Jack lay there filthy hands on our report isu wakuru tisati tazeya neku zuwa,gadziraiwo renyu ikoko repama social media kwamomhanyira,isu tichambotanga tagadzirisa ma corrections ema spelling tozokuratidzai kkkk

    1. hapana chinosetsa pane zvamarutsa Komuredhi

  14. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Those who scold others have run out of facts. We need facts here because if you call someone a fool when he is not what contribution have you made? Please call it a day we will meet tomorrow.

    1. Why is it that some people want to put the cart before the horse. President Mnangagwa has not been quoted anywhere saying that he will not avail the report. Some people want to put words in the mouths of the President. I am surprised by the behaviour of the MDC, when the commission was carrying out its work, Nelson Chamisa and his cronies were castigating the commission, but now they want to see sight of the report yet they did not recognise the commission in the first place.

  15. Hope they are not going to tamper with the wording like ZEC, ngavarege ku rigger. handiva truster vanhu ivava vanogona kuchinja zvakasiya zvanyorwa.

    1. Why are these zeroes called heroes why are are these corwards called commrades .

  16. Vamwe vanongotevera zvese zvese anema$us ngaatipewo life is becoming hard we need to pray for our nation

  17. Your Name (required):Special Black

    ZANU PF does not have guys like Zuze who was given a dozen of bread and a letter stating the how many loaves he had to deliver. On his way, Zuze stole some of the loaves. On arrival he handed over the letter and the remaining loaves. When the owner read the letter and counted the loaves he found some to be missing. So how then can they change what is in the report when commission mbrs know whats in the report? This MDCA ‘rigging rigging’ we are sick and tired of this word. Wait and comment later.

  18. It’s a pity that Zimbabweans in this day and age are still defending Politicians even if they are the ones that made everyone one of u suffer. You will continue suffering until u unite for justice. You will be the first 5 world nation because muthird world hamuchakwana. U all are very silly and ignorant indeed. The hearings should be publicised ndosaka muchifa nenzara

  19. Tichatsvukira zvedu, both MDC NeMaPfeeeerorists people are dying muzvipatara umo, zvipatara zvaakuvharwa vanhu tofa hedu imi muchingoda kutonga chete, Pasi nemi mhani zvimbwa sungata. Imi mukarwara tokuonai muchikwira ndege, ko isu toita sei manje, Pfutseki mhani.

  20. Already people are complaining before anything has been done to them?? Also Newsday must be clear Charamba said the executive summary was for ED’s eyes only as he is the appointing Authority…executive summary haingapuwe Chief Justice/Speaker of Parliament when they are not the appointing authority…even in a company if u tasked with making a report u give ur executive summary to the delegating authority

  21. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Most countries went through economic hardships, but the people in those countries knew what is good for their countries , they did not tarnish the image of their countries. Tarnishers are from MDCA, lawyers, Human rights groups, rank marshalls, some NGOs, forex dealers shop owners, because everytime a customer complaints of price/fare hikes they say handiti ndimi makati pfeee. So this is a war aimed at a point where people say enough is enough. Power hungry MDCA wants to drive people into streets.

  22. The release of the report has nothing to do with MDCA or ZANU PF. Let us not confuse each other here by judging each other with false partisan beliefs. As a nation we would like to hear what the comission find out and the way forward. ED as the President is not a Judge as other people might be mistaken. Way forward Zimbabweans let us unite zanu or mdc and build our country not to waste precious time with unproductive issues. No one is going to benefit with the commission findings.

  23. Lorraine Mukute

    While voices calling for the observation of the rule of law are loud and clear why not have a look at what the law says about the issue of commission of inquiries: As observed by lawyer Alec Muchadehama, the commission of inquiries Act is silent on what the President can do with the findings of the commission. In simple terms, the President can keep quiet about the findings or he can share them with the public. It is up to him to do so. Why not wait and see what he does with the findings than speculate. Some people turn to the law when it suits them but do not want to accept that the same law does not compel His Excellency to share the findings. Hypocritical in deed.

  24. zazanu fools. why do yu support such evil unless yu are a satanist yurself? it wil surely catch up with yu, very soon.

  25. So some people want the president to release the report the minute he receives it? Why not give him time to study it first, then see what he will do with it and about it. Members of the public cannot read the report at the same time with the President. The President should read ahead, and then share with the public if so he wishes.

  26. This becomes an Omission of Enquiry.
    If public funds were used for the process then the public has a right to know otherwise they should have used their private money.
    Besides the President is our servant not boss. We gave him the job so he is accountable to us

  27. the same happened when election results were being announced, for some reason before the prescribed 5 days were up some people were already demonstrating ,now before the President has even laid his eyes on the commission’s report,you are already up in arms.WHERE ART THOU AS A COUNTRY OF SUPPOSEDLY LEARNED PEOPLE?

  28. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Good, you have now noticed that people are dying in hospitals. When you went to beg for ZIDERA companies closed down and no taxes were being collected thereby disabling the smooth functioning of gvt, no drugs and hospital equipment. The hospital services become very poor leading to deaths of people. As if it was not enough chamisa and biti went to have ZIDERA extended. MDCA you have blood dripping in your hands. Civil servants, pensioners and workers in general are not getting enough coz of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *