BY BLESSED MHLANGA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly pledged to fully implement all recommendations and reforms proposed in the August 1, 2018 shootings commission report.
However, government sources yesterday cast doubts on whether the Zanu PF leader would arrest soldiers implicated in the killing of the six civilian protesters.
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is also chairperson of the inter-ministerial taskforce tasked to ensure implementation of the Kgalema Motlanthe inquiry report, said Mnangagwa, would implement all recommendations made, although he could not comment on the call for the arrest of the “killer soldiers”.
“We have done all the work in terms of looking at how to implement the recommendations and these will be made public once we present them to Cabinet. What I can tell you (for) now is President Mnangagwa is committed to implement that report in full. It has not been discarded, it’s being taken seriously,” he said.
Ziyambi said among the recommendations was a raft of reforms in laws, including electoral laws, but he skirted commenting on the security sector reforms.
“We are looking into the electoral laws, political parties and a number of issues including compensation of victims killed during the August 1 violent demonstrations. I am not at liberty to speak more until the report is with Cabinet,” he said.
The 17 people reportedly killed during the January stayaway were, however, not covered in the recommendations that Ziyambi will present to Cabinet, most likely next week.
“They are not part of my brief, so we are not looking at them,” Ziyambi said.
A government insider said: “The critical recommendations in that report include political dialogue to diffuse simmering anger and years of political violence, which have characterised the discourse in the country, the electoral reforms and bringing to account members of the military accused of shooting and killing people on the streets of Harare, these are the ones that are problematic in implementing the report in full.”
The United States government has demanded the arrest of the killer soldiers as one of the conditions for the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
The European Union and Britain, also unhappy over Mnangagwa’s failure to rein in the trigger-happy soldiers, have withheld the much-needed financial rescue package required by Harare, leaving the country on the brink of economic turmoil.
Skyrocketing prices, crippling fuel shortages and a foreign currency crunch, which has had a ripple effect on basic service delivery, seem to be conspiring against Mnangagwa’s regime.