Zimbabwe: Chamisa to Appear Before August 1 Commission On Monday - Chairperson

Photo: The Herald
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa (file photo).
21 November 2018

Opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa is now expected to appear Monday before the ongoing Commission of Inquiry into the deadly August 1 post-election violence.

The main opposition leader was due to testify before the commission when it resumed hearings in Harare this Wednesday, but he had not turned up by the conclusion of proceedings.

Several members of the MDC's top leadership - among them vice president Morgen Komichi, national chairperson Tabitha Khumalo, secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, organising secretary Amos Chibaya and a number of MPs - were present at Wednesday's hearings.

Some of the party leaders indicated to NewZimbabwe.com that Chamisa would appear in the afternoon although they were not prepared to speak on the record.

NewZimbabwe.com also witnessed vehicles which normally make up the MDC leader's motorcade arrive at the hotel hosting the hearings along with members of Chamisa's security detail.

Party spokesman Jacob Mafume said engagements were continuing between the Commission and Chamisa's team over the modalities of his testimony.

The opposition leader had previously refused to appear before the commission unless it was also prepared to invite President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his two deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.

However, when the day's proceedings concluded Commission chairperson and former South Africa president Kgalema Motlanthe told a freelance journalist in passing that he expected the opposition leader on Monday.

Commission spokesman John Masuku later said; "Nelson Chamisa is still expected to testify before the Commission.

"So it is still up to the 25th when Mr Biti will be back, so maybe they might come at the same time."

MDC secretary general Mwonzora confirmed that Chamisa will appear before the Commission but added that, like any other witness who has given submissions. the opposition leader was on a waiting list which they had to adhere to.

Mwonzora disclosed that Chamisa's lawyer Thabani Mpofu had come prepared to speak on behalf of the party leader but indications are that the plan was resisted by the Commission who insisted on him (Chamisa) coming personally.

President Nelson Chamisa does not take precedence over other witnesses who had come to testify and therefore to testify and therefore was in the queue, he has to be in the queue.

"These people who testified, the testimony that they gave was equally important I think more important than what can be extracted from president Chamisa," said Mwonzora who went on to say the commission should understand how busy Chamisa is.

"The president was actually represented in the hearing and, if his team came, you were going to get a statement from him.

"Advocate Thabani Mpofu was there waiting for president Chamisa; so Advocate Thabani would have said something informative enough to the commission."

Sources indicated to NewZimbabwe.com that Chamisa was at the hotel where the hearings are being conducted.

Commissioners were reportedly engaged in tough discussions with members of the MDC leadership on the way forward after Chamisa failed to pitch up.

Wednesday's hearing was reminiscent of the Bulawayo one which was packed to the brim by MDC supporters who came to give solidarity to party leaders.

The Commission also heard reverting testimony from the husband of Sylvia Maphosa who was shot and killed during the August 1 clashes.

Also testifying before the commission was former Zanu PF party activist Jim Kunaka who exposed commission member Charity Manyeruke as a senior ruling party official.

Kunaka claimed that Manyeruke was her commander when they would plot violent attacks against opposition activists.

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