Zimbabwe: Apologize for August 1 Shootings, Mnangagwa Told

MDC supporters protested in Harare after the electoral commission announced that Zimbabwe’s ruling party had won a majority of seats in Parliament and the country braced itself for the first official results of the presidential election (file photo).
19 December 2018

Constitutional lawyers, political activists and members of the public have demanded an apology from President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the death of six civilians on the 1st of August.

This follows the release of the Commission of Inquiry report which implicated soldiers and police for the death of civilians on the day in question.

Constitutional and human rights lawyer Fadzayi Mahere said Mnangagwa should take the responsibility and apologize for the moment of madness, question the rationale behind the elevation of the Commander of the Presidential Guard Brigadier Anselem Sanyatwe to the rank of Major General.

Sanyatwe was in charge of the military unit that shot and killed civilians on the 1st of August.

"Respectfully, Mr President, Because the army was implicated in the killings and you are the Commander in Chief, surely it behoves you to take responsibility and at least apologize for the moment of madness? Why did you promote the commander involved if you regret this episode? Mahere wrote on Twitter today.

Former MDC Bulawayo senator David Coltart weighed in charging that the President must apologize since he is the Commander in Chief of the army.

Coltart also questioned the rationale rationale behind the elevation of Major Sanyatwe who lied under oath before the Motlanthe commission.

"In my mind the most appalling aspect of this tragic episode is that the army commander who brazenly lied to Motlanthe Commission (that troops fired at 45 degrees and didn't kill civilians) has now been promoted and rewarded by Mnangagwa. He should have been courtmartialed.

"In addition Mnangagwa has officially been found to have deployed the troops which then, using excessive force, killed civilians in cold blood. Despite this there still hasn't been a whiff of an apology, never mind accountability," Coltart wrote on his Twitter today.

A social media user identified as @DebraWakanaka said;

"Yesterday You Promoted Sanyatwe the man behind the atrocities of August 1 Today you want us to unite with you? how? How do we Unite with heartlessness & Soul less Beings People chose there Leader President @nelsonchamisa why force us when the Majority voted against you," she said.

Veteran journalist Brezh Malaba also expressed dismay at the elevation of the Brigadier Sanyatwe saying it kills the principle of responsibility among soldiers.

"The Motlanthe Inquiry has concluded: The military and police killed unarmed civilians. Victims and families must be compensated. Prosecution of culprits. BUT how can the soldiers be held responsible when Mnangagwa promoted their commander a day before revealing the findings?"

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