BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE opposition MDC has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of leading diplomats down the garden path, after he told them during a luncheon last week that government was already implementing the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission.
Party deputy spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka told NewsDay yesterday that the statement was false and evidence that Mnangagwa had no appetite to reform, but was just happy to play public relations while the country burns.
“The report found the police and the military to have been responsible for the murders that took place on August 1, 2018. We have not seen heads rolling in either the police or the military,” Tambarinyoka said.
The MDC wants to see those responsible for the shootings which left six dead and 22 injured, some who still have bullets logged in their bodies, arrested and jailed for the acts.
Tambarinyoka said Mnangagwa should also be sanctioned for his role as he was head of the army and responsible for its deployment on the day.
“As Commander in Chief of the rogue soldiers who killed innocent citizens, Mnangagwa himself is the chief culprit and if proper action is to be taken, Mnangagwa himself has to go.
Anything else is cheap drama with no substantive action being taken. We have not even heard of any action having been taken against the individual soldiers and police officers who callously murdered innocent citizens. If any action was taken, it was important to have mentioned names and made the information public. To the extent that that has not happened, ED thinks he can take diplomats for a ride. They are not fools and they know he is the chief culprit of what happened on August 1, 2018,” MDC said.
The family of one of the victims, Ishmael Kumire from Matope village, Mawanga, in Domboshava who was shot dead during the demonstrations is struggling to raise money to feed or send his children to school.
Kumire’s widow, who identified herself as Mrs Kumire, said they had not received any help from government and she was struggling to take care of her three children.
The Motlanthe Commission recommended, among other things, that government should compensate victims of the shootings.
Justice permanent secretary Virginia Mabiza, said compensation of victims and provision of support was now opening through the Department of Social Welfare.
“I am aware of the Kumire case and it has since been forwarded to social welfare which is supposed to help process the compensation, but we have said that when they face any challenges they can come to us as the secretariat of the commission and help facilitate,” she said.
European Union (EU) head of mission Timo Olkkonen in an earlier interview with NewsDay said they were waiting keenly on action on the soldiers who shot and killed civilians and implementation of political reforms.
“We passed the anniversary of the report of the Motlanthe Commission and we still very much hope to see follow-up on that account for example electoral reforms, for example, the recommendations from various observer groups. So we hope to see momentum on those issues in 2020,” he said.
The EU, the United States and the United Kingdom have insisted on political and economic reforms saying outside these not much support will come to the country.
The US is even looking to add more names on the sanctions list after noting that the Mnangagwa regime is not wringing any reforms.