Motlanthe commission issues verdict

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa has released the Commission of Inquiry report on the politically-motivated violence of August 1, 2018, which blames the military and the police for the death of six civilians in the streets of Harare.

The report vindicates the main opposition party, the MDC, for the violence; and heaps the blame on the military’s use of disproportional force for causing the unnecessary death of innocent civilians.

It says there was negligence and corporate failing in the operations of both the police and military.

“The commission’s finding on a balance of probability of all the evidence received is that the deaths of these six people and the injuries sustained by the 35 others arose from the actions of the military and the police,” reads the report in part.

The military is reported to have fired live ammunition at civilians who were demonstrating in Harare over the inordinate delays in announcing the results of the presidential elections and alleged bias of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in running the July 30 polls.

To prevent indiscipline and unnecessary loss of life in future, the report urged the military to conduct an immediate and full audit of its procedures in law engagement, and order of operations including riot control.

Having noted the political discord that has rocked the nation, the commission recommended the need for national reconciliation.

“The commission recommends the establishment of multi-party reconciliation initiatives, including youth representatives, national and international mediators to address the root causes of the post-election violence and to identify the implementing strategies for reducing tensions, promoting common understanding of political campaigning, combating criminality and uplifting communities,” it says.

According to the findings of the report, the environment preceding the election period was generally peaceful.

It was, however, indicated that the media was highly-polarised with the public media tilted towards Zanu PF while the private media favoured the MDC.

The Kgalema Motlanthe-led probe team further established that the August 1 protests were pre-planned and well-orchestrated as evidenced by the arrival time of the protesters and the material that they brought along which included posters, bricks, stones and containers among others.

Headed by former South African president Motlanthe, the commission was appointed by Mnangagwa to probe the August 1, 2018 killings.

Other members of the commission were United Kingdom-based Queen’s Counsel Rodney Dixon, former Commonwealth secretary-general and Nigerian national Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Tanzania Defence Forces Chief General Davis Mwamunyange, University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Dean of Political Science Professor Charity Manyeruke, UZ Constitutional Law lecturer and National Constitutional Assembly leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku, and former Law Society of Zimbabwe president Vimbai Nyemba.

It was appointed in line with the provisions of the Constitution to inquire into the circumstances leading to the post-election violence and to identify the actors and their leaders, their motive and strategies employed in the protests.

It was also tasked to investigate the circumstances that necessitated the involvement of the military in assisting in the maintenance of law and order.

Having been appointed in September, the commission was expected to complete its task in 90 days and to deliver a report on its findings today.

It was castigated for the shocking pace with which it had submitted the executive summary of its report to Mnangagwa, two days after wrapping up public hearings.

Doubt was looming whether Mnangagwa would make public the findings of the commission as initially promised, after his spokesperson George Charamba initially said there was nothing that obligated the president to share the report with anyone or not to do so if he so wished.


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Comments (11)

Phew! Yes the Soldiers and police were found to have used excessive force. Daily News -you forgot to also expound on MDC blamed for inciting the violence.

Dick mboko - 20 December 2018

I always told you kuti uriMboko zvechokwadi because you brainwashed by zanu you can't see when you where reading that mdc is vindicated in this inquiry

Innocent - 20 December 2018

Its difficult to comprehend if ED's summary is a true version of the original report it however does seem to be balanced. Its also impossible to think that ED will implement the Commission's recommendations.

Sinyo - 20 December 2018

I wonder why ZEC officials were not called to testify by the Mothlante commission because i am of the opinion that they are the ones who incited the protests on account they delayed announcing the election results for reasons better known to them and the public knowing well how ZEC has witheld results in the previous elections particulary in 2008 when they took over six weeks before announcing doctored results.Rumour has it that Mnangagwa was the architect of that rigging.ZEC INCITED THE PROTESTS BY WITH OLDING RESULTS THAT THEY HAD. AND PEOPLE KNEW THAT THE ZEC PF WAS UP TO NO GOOD AND ANXIETY TOOK THEM TO THE STREETS TO EXPRESS THEIR DISMAY AT THE DAYLIGHT RIGGING OF ELECTION RESULTS BY YTHIS ARM OF ZANU PF CALLED ZEC.THE BUC STOPS WITH ZEC AND THE ARMY.finito!

Luke Bikaz Bikela Bikaldo Munya - 20 December 2018

The willful murder of bystanders and peaceful demonstrators by the Zimbabwe Army on August 1 2018 on orders from Mnanagagwa will forever be the reason that Zimbabwe will never be open for business. Nothing will ever happen to any of the murderers - all blame will be laid at MDC'c feet.

Is that so? - 20 December 2018

Last time i checked ZEC never delayed in announcing any results. Check your facts. They were within the stipulated legal time limit. Its only when you listen to incorrect information maliciously peddled by people with hidden agenda that you end up believing ZEC delayed.

The Beautiful ones are not yet born - 20 December 2018

Dear Zimbabweans in my view the report is balanced there is no sacred cow in this report. Its clear that the incidents of 1st of August 2018 did not start on the day. The opposition party disowned the demonstrators and called them STUPID, surprisingly those who were called stupid do not see it. Mafume is again misleading Zimbabweans to ignore the findings. There is a lot of good out of the Commission's findings for the peace loving Zimbabweans. Lets implement their recommendations and we will be better-of than we are. Kwete kungoomesa musoro. Nobody came clean from the report from ED, Chamisa, ZEC, Police, Soldiers and the demonstrators.

Mafirakureva - 20 December 2018

why six people were killed 01 August 2018?Why the military was called on to the streets of Harare?Where were the police by that time when the demo was on streets?Who have the right of their actions the demo,police and the military?Who was/were the main actor /actors of commanding the demo,police,and military?Are the actor/actors have the the right to make those decisions to command on his /their actions?What was the aim of demo,police,and military?The final results for the actions for achieved?What are the answers behind the results?What the next actions from now?

Voice - 20 December 2018

300,000 usd down the drain to state the obvious...

alternative - 20 December 2018

We are made to believe that our security intelligence personnel had prior knowledge about these demonstrations and I wonder why the Police was never ready ?

ndizvo - 21 December 2018

There was no need for wasting money on such project it was unnecessary ,time wasted and biased very few people like Madhuku to benefit.It is really painful for relatives of the deceased and the nation as whole to be waiting for outcome of commission .The outcome of the commission was known ,you should have given the money paid to the commissioner to the relatives .The word sorry should be learnt by our leaders for country to move forward.

Washintin - 22 December 2018

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