4 December 2018

Zimbabwe: Motlanthe Commission Speaks Out

Photo: Innocent Makawa/The Herald
Former South African president and chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election violence Kgalema Motlanthe, flanked by Professor Charity Manyeruke, right, and Chief Emeka Anyaoku at a public hearing in Harare.

THE seven-member Commission of Inquiry into the post-election violence that claimed six lives and left property worth millions dollars destroyed in Harare has scoffed at its critics and defended the conclusion of the probe two weeks ahead of schedule.

The Commission, chaired by former South African president Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, submitted an executive summary of the report to President Mnangagwa on Thursday last week. It was appointed on August 29 and given three months to produce the final report.

The Commission had three months to make its findings and submit its report to the appointing authority, President Mnangagwa.

However, the prompt manner in which the Commission dealt with the inquiry has attracted attacks from the opposition MDC-Alliance functionaries, including anti-Government civil society organisations.

Commission spokesperson Mr John Masuku scoffed at claims in the private media that the Motlanthe Commission rushed to conclude the probe without affording the majority of the victims of the August 1 shootings a chance to tell their stories during the public hearings.

Mr Masuku said the conclusion of the public hearings two weeks ahead of schedule was not going to change the substance of the report.

"If the Commission felt it has gathered sufficient evidence and testimonies to come up with a report on time, that is it," said Mr Masuku.

"It is in charge of those proceedings. It was not necessary to interview everyone, but a sizeable number. If they felt that they have gathered enough information, they get into report writing."

Mr Masuku said the Commission did not gather oral evidence only, but also included a lot of documentary evidence among other forms for consideration in the compilation of the much-awaited report.

"They have done their job and came up with a report whose executive summary has been given to the appointing authority," he said. "The executive summary cannot come from an incomplete report."

Instead of criticising the commission, Mr Masuku said people should wait for the outcome of the inquiry. Mr Masuku attributed the comletion of the report ahead of time to the fact that the Commission was working full time and spent most of their time on the inquiry.

"We take the executive summary as progress to the appointing authority," he said.

The public hearings began in Harare on October 16, with top security officials, including Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Valerio Sibanda, the Presidential Guard and National Reaction Force Tactical Commander Brigadier-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Officer Commanding Harare province Chief Superintendent Albert Ncube, testifying.

MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, his party's deputy national chairperson Mr Tendai Biti and former Home Affairs Minister and Zanu-PF ecretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu also gave their testimonies.

MDC-T spokesperson Ms Linda Masarira also gave evidence in which she accused the MDC-Alliance of being prone to violence and training its members to cause havoc after the elections.

President Mnangagwa appointed the Commission on August 29, and gave it a three-month time frame to come up with its findings and recommendations.

More on This

August 1 Violence Inquiry Finished Way Too Early, Says Top Civic Leader

CITIZENS Manifesto convenor Briggs Bomba Tuesday said the time taken by the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.