Motlanthe probe team must be allowed room

HARARE - It's positive that president Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally sworn in members of the probe team to look into the army killings that occurred on August 1 in central Harare.

The military used live ammunition to break protests on that fateful afternoon.

MDC Alliance supporters were demonstrating against the delay in announcing presidential election results as well as alleged bias by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

Zimbabweans had participated in largely peaceful elections on July 30 and according to the Electoral Act, Zec had a five-day window to announce the results.

However, MDC Alliance protesters argued that Zec was delaying the announcement so as to rig the election in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The police — who were reportedly failing to contain the protesters — enlisted the help of the army.

Former South African caretaker president Kgalema Motlanthe will lead the seven-member commission that has been tasked by Mnangagwa to look into the killings.

Other members of the commission are lawyer Lovemore Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke, Law Society of Zimbabwe ex-president Vimbai Nyemba, Rodney Dixon of the United Kingdom, former Tanzanian defence forces chief Davis Mwamunyange and ex-Commonwealth secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria.

Commissions of inquiry in Zimbabwe, however, have a long history of failure to produce acceptable outcomes.

There is the Chihambakwe Commission, which was mandated to probe the Gukurahundi killings of the 1980s, whose findings have never been made public up to this day.

Following the Willowgate scandal of the late 1980s, former president Robert Mugabe set up the Sandura Commission to look into the matter.

A number of Cabinet ministers were caught on the wrong side by the Commission but Mugabe let them escape with only a slap on the wrist.

Who will ever forget the Nziramasanga Commission which was tasked to look into reforms into the education sector but the report that was produced was gathering dust on government shelves, until debate on the new curriculum plucked it out for reference.

It is our hope that the Motlanthe Commission will not suffer the same fate as the other inquiries the country has come up with.

Motlanthe and his team must be allowed the freedom to probe and get to the bottom of the killings.

Those found responsible for the killings should be brought to book to allow the country to move on from this sad chapter in our history.

Comments (3)

Mnangagwa thinks that by appointing the useless commission of inquiry this will appease all those who lost their loved ones.In fact there was no need of a commission of inquiry because what happened on that particular day was in full glare of the public.He should have done an internal investigation and find out the mad man who ordered the equally mad soldiers to use live ammunition on people who were protesting instead of wasting money that his govt does not have .The govt is obviously taking good care of these so called commissioners by providing them with hotel accommodation,food,allowances,etc.Trying to hoodwink the world by appointing a useless commission to investigate what we all know is taking madness to new heights.The funny thing is that some equally crazy people think that this is a good idea.Whatever result this guys may come up with,it will not change the fact that these innocent civilians and unarmed civilians were killed by govt soldiers who were trying to protect the same Mnangagwa from the people who believed that their vote had been stolen, and the fact that Priscilla Chigumba and her fellow ZEC thieves were taking time to announce results in some areas did not help matters.

Luke Munya Bikaldo - 21 September 2018

Its a positive move but what is important is for the commission to be given room to operate and to make the report public, also those found on the wrong side should be brought to book.

Munya - 22 September 2018

This Commission is a blatant waste of resources that are not available. Its terms of reference are very clear that, they must look into who organised the demonstrations and how did they do it how did that lead to the sad loss of life. Its directly aimed at linking the opposition with the killings, its not going to investigate who ordered the inclusion of the army and which soldiers shot dead unarmed fleeing civilians. The Commission will not make public its findings but will give the report to ED and that will be the end of the story. There is reportage that there is going to be an independent investigation by Team Pachedu relatives of the late victims may find closure from that one not this Motlanthe nonesense.

Sinyo - 24 September 2018

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