Autonomy critical for Motlanthe commission

HARARE - When President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 killings, there was substantial criticism on the manner in which its members were picked as well as its composition.

The seven-member Commission — headed by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe and comprising academics Lovemore Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke, international lawyer Rodney Dixon, former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Chief of Defence Forces of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces Davis Mwamunyange as well as former president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe Vimbai Nyemba — has already heard testimonies from police and army commanders.

The appearance of former Zanu PF terror leader Jim Kunaka, former Harare South legislator and key Generation 40 (G40) member Shadreck Mashayamombe and MDC Alliance member Paddington Japajapa will perhaps unsettle the Commission with their damning revelations on the ruling party’s modus operandi in crisis situations.

Many observers will argue that the trio did not dwell on the August 1 killings in their testimonies but the damning details they gave of the ruling party’s tactics, especially violence and intimidation will most likely continue to haunt the commissioners for some time.

On the other hand, some members of the Commission, notably Charity Manyeruke, have already had their credibility questioned through the submissions from Kunaka. And to imagine that the whole programme was televised live will no doubt show the importance of the whole process for Zimbabwe.

The world’s perception of Zimbabwe is not that positive following decades of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship which soiled the country’s image at such a critical juncture.

In this light, the Commission should strive to retain its autonomy, something that will play a significant part in determining the credibility of its findings as well as recommendations.

Zimbabwean society is highly-polarised with the majority of citizens viewing national issues through the eyes of either Zanu PF or the MDC.

The Commission should be wary of this fact as this can lead to rehearsed testimonies seeking to sanitise given party positions.

So far, reservations over the composition of the Motlanthe-led Commission have played heavily against it, with certain quarters dismissing it altogether as an extension of Zanu PF. It is not too late for the Commission though.

They are still capable of producing a sober report that will not deepen the polarisation that currently obtains in the country, thus paving the way for active involvement in the development agenda.

Comments (2)

I do not believe cde Kgalema Motlanthe is the right candidate to lead this commission. The chairperson was supposed to be a respected retired Chief Justice from one of our neighbouring countries. What has the former President done or achieved on administration of justice during his tenure as the President of the Republic of South Africa. What qualifications does he have in the administration of justice. Mr Motlanthe's is a very hounerable man but that does not qualify him to lead this commission.Personally I do not see anything good coming out of this commission. Its a waste of taxpayer's money to sanitise the brutality of our armed forces. A Force which is paid to protect the nation but ends up butchering its paymaster ? Why is it that the Commander in Chief did not discipline those who deployed the army to kill defenceless civilians without his knowledge. His silence means he is an accomplice in all this mess.

Mbambande - 26 November 2018

The commission's brief as far as the one who appointed it concerned,was to nail the MDC Alliance leaders as the the ones who caused the shooting of the innocent citizens.Little did he knew that it would backfire at himafter the commission invited Jim Kunaka,Mashayamombe,Japajapa,President Chamisa and Hon Biti.They literally emptied zanu pf's dirty linen cupboards and displayed them to the whole wide world to see.Calling Mnangagwa and Chiwenga to testify would not repair the damage that had been inflicted on the mafia party by those that it once used to kill and maim innocent opposition supporters on its behalf.Trying to defend the horrific deeds of the mafia party was like a snowball's chance in hell so i would like to believe that Mnangagwa could have told the commission chairman to excuse him.Most of us here were not really surprised by the revealations by Jim Kunaka because we have known this for years.They have done worse things than what Jim Kunaka revealed.

janana wa Bikaz madhogodhogo - 29 November 2018

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.