‘ED should apologise for army killings’

OPPOSITION political parties and civic groups have called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to publicly apologise to families of people killed and injured by the army and police during the August 1 post-election violence.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA/VENERANDA LANGA/VANESSA GONYE

This followed the publication of findings of the commission of inquiry led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, which laid the blame for the deaths and injuries on the soldiers and police who were deployed to quell the post-election protests. The report said the use of live bullets was ‘unjustified and disproportionate’ and challenged the Mnangagwa administration to be accountable by taking action against some wayward members of the army and the police.

MDC national executive member Jameson Timba, who was Nelson Chamisa’s chief election agent in the July 30 poll, said Mnangagwa as the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Force and therefore responsible for deploying the soldiers, should apologise and ensure the culprits are brought to book.

“The commission of inquiry came and went, still those who killed six of our compatriots have not been identified; they walk scot free in their barracks. Even if the report is conclusive that they were killed by the army there is no apology. The 38-year-old culture of impunity continues unabated from one despotic era to another,” Timba said.

MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume dismissed the report in its entirety, saying it was just a public relations document to cleanse Zanu PF in the eyes of the international community.

“The MDC is a peaceful organisation which must be applauded for resisting unconstitutional means of redress despite years of suffering. Any attempt to blame the victims in the report is a clear ploy of equalisation,” Mafume said.

The MDC wants stern measures taken against members of the army who shot and killed unarmed civilians, which part was missing from the final report, he said.

“As we have always predicted, the outcomes of the commission are clearly bound on whitewashing the killing of unarmed innocent civilians by soldiers and create a climate of impunity for such killings, while equating the victim with the perpetrator,” Mafume said.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition also dismissed the report, saying it served nobody but Mnangagwa.

Lawyer Fadzayi Mahere also called on government to apologise and questioned the wisdom of promoting the shootings commander Anselem Namho Sanyatwe to the position of Major-General.

“Dear President, with all due respect because the army was implicated in the killings you are the Commander-in-Chief. Surely it behoves you to take responsibility and at least apologise for the moment of madness. Why did you also promote the commander involved if you regret this episode,” she said on her Twitter handle.

Mnangagwa told journalists on Tuesday that his government was still studying the report and would soon move, guided by the recommendations of the report.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the ruling party was not yet ready to comment on report.

“We have to sit down as a party, it would be unfair of me to comment on it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) yesterday raised a point of privilege with Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda demanding that the Motlanthe commission report be debated in Parliament in terms of section 119 of the Constitution.

Chikwinya said some of the issues raised in the Motlanthe report required Parliament intervention.

“It is incumbent on this House to be, therefore, able to debate the Motlanthe report because there are issues that talk to the alignment of electoral laws which require the action of Parliament. It is incumbent on the Minister of Justice (Ziyambi Ziyambi) to bring that report for debate in this august House,” he said.

Ziyambi did not object to Chikwinya’s proposal.

“Indeed the report is in the public domain and it is within the rights of Parliament to discuss a matter which is in the public domain and therefore, I will consider it,” Ziyambi said.

6 Comments

  1. There is nowhere in the report where it says soldiers shot and killed those six. And after all President Mnangagwa at his inaguration swore as part of his oath that he would oppose anything which could harm the nation. The report clearly shows that the riots had a very high risk of deteriorating into something more harmful had the army not intervened and you want his excellency to apologise for fulfilling his inagural vows! What a shame. You are just trying to be relevant with those silly demands but that does not work at all. These so called ngo s must just come clear on how they relate to mdca. Jameson Timba is very confused, yesterday his boss lied to the commission of inquiry saying the demonstrators were zanu pf but today they are your compatriots. What a bunch of confused chalatants! Jacob Mafume, we are sick and tired of listening to your hogwash. Did you send those violent demonstrators and for what reason? Are you going to apologise for it? Batai vamwe zvakanaka mumusangano wenyu.

      1. Hauna kukwana kana uchitaura zvinyadzi zvakadai. Zita rako rataura rega zvauri. hauna kurerwa zvakanaka. iwe. Put your arguments kwete kutuka. Shame on you.

  2. Farai – how much are you paid for your stupid, sterile and devilish views? Is it in bond notes? Do you brush your teeth with human blood every day?

  3. We cannot afford to be treated to another hoax. How can there be reconciliation without truth?
    Mnangagwa and Chamisa must first take responsibility, each for the role he played – directly or indirectly- in the circumstances leading to the August 1st killings.
    What was read by the President in the lengthy document long in rhetoric and short on substance was a mere political posture.
    The perpetrators of this conflict must first be brought to book for healing and forgiveness to take place in the long process of peacebuilding.

  4. Ths is jus pathetic… why am i not suprised Mhlanga’s name is on e byline??

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