Zimbabwe: Rights Commission Fails August 1 Shooting Victims

Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Philip Valerio Sibanda and Army Commander Lieutenant General Edzayi Chimonyo (file photo).
3 August 2020

The establishment of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has failed to raise the hopes of citizens including families of August 1 2018 shootings, a local human rights group has said.

In a report titled 'The Motlanthe Report- What's next for victims and the nation' the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) says no justice has been served to the victims as perpetrators are walking scot free.

"The initiative, regardless of its flaws, raised hopes of victims, families of victims, citizens, and civil society organizations that the atrocities that were faced by civilians were going to be addressed. Despite the criticisms against how the Commission of Inquiry conducted its assignment, some of its recommendations are progressive in ensuring justice, creating conditions for peace, and public trust in public institutions and government.

"However, an analysis of the steps taken by the government to implement the recommendations of the Commission reveals substantial non-compliance. A year and a half into the Commission of Inquiry's findings and recommendations, no justice has been done for the victims, and perpetrators remain at large," said ZimRights.

The human rights lobby group said whilst the recommendations made by the Commission were progressive in ensuring justice there is a large proportion of non-compliance of the recommendations.

"Despite the criticisms against how the Commission of Inquiry conducted its assignment, some of its recommendations are progressive in ensuring justice, creating conditions for peace, and public trust in public institutions and government.

"However, an analysis of the steps taken by the government to implement the recommendations of the Commission reveals substantial non-compliance. A year and a half into the Commission of Inquiry's findings and recommendations, no justice has been done for the victims, and perpetrators remain at large," reads the report.

ZimRights adds "The government has not fulfilled the recommendations. Instead, politicians have sought to use the report more as a public relations document rather than a sincere quest for reform and nation-building. It is important for the government to seek dialogue first with its citizens and affected families before parading the report to foreign governments."

Zimbabwe marked the second anniversary of the post 2018 election violence that saw the death of six civilians leading to the setting of the Motlanthe Commission Inquiry. Government is yet to implement recommendations of the commission.

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