Ex-MDC Chairman backs Mnangagwa’s Commission of Enquiry

Lovemore Moyo

Leader of the newly-formed United Movement for Devolution (UMD) has welcomed the appointment of a seven-member Commission of Inquiry into post-election violence that rocked Harare on August 1.

The president of the party, who is former MDC-T national chairperson, Mr Lovemore Moyo, said President Mnangagwa had shown integrity, the hallmark of a great leader.

President Mnangagwa last Wednesday appointed a commission to investigate circumstances that led to the death of six people and extensive damage to property following the violent protests.

The commission is led by former South African President Mr Kgalema Motlanthe.

Other members are United Kingdom international law expert Mr Rodney Dixon QC, former Commonwealth secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria, Chief of Defence Forces of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces General (Retired) Davis Mwamunyange.

The team has three locals — constitutional lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku, University of Zimbabwe lecturer Professor Charity Manyeruke and former Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) president Mrs Vimbai Nyemba.

Mr Moyo said the diversity in the team and the appointment of highly respected international figures is a true reflection of President Mnangagwa’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the process.

“The UMD would like to note with appreciation the President for the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry into the recent post election protests that resulted in deaths,” he said. “We trust that concern for human rights exhibited will open the door for further investigations into numerous past human rights violations that went unrecognised and unresolved.

“The appointment of the Commission is yet another positive move in that it comprises not only human rights protagonists, but also respected international figures such as former president of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe and former Commonwealth secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku. We are optimistic that the involvement of foreign persons will steer the commission away from internal interference and bias.”

Mr Moyo said Zimbabweans were peace-loving people and hoped that the Commission of Inquiry would bring closure to the issue.

“Zimbabweans deserve peace and development hence it is imperative that the subject of inquiry is quickly resolved in order to allow people to move on with their daily lives,” he said. “We further call upon the Commission to be judicious, thorough and exercise utmost impartiality and set aside any prejudice that may affect the outcome of the inquiry.”

President Mnangagwa said the investigations would be conducted in a transparent manner and a report would be produced and published.

The President said all members of the team had already agreed to take up the task and will soon be sworn in to assume their duties.

The terms of reference were to inquire into the circumstances leading to the violence, to identify actors and their leaders, motive and strategies employed, among other pertinent issues.

Other terms of reference include, “to inquire into the intervention by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the maintenance of law and order, to investigate the circumstances which necessitated the involvement of the military in assisting in the maintenance of law and order, to consider whether the degree of force used was appropriate to the ensuing threat to public safety, law and order, to ascertain extent of damage/injury caused thereof.”

Other terms of reference are to “investigate any other matters which the Commission of Inquiry may deem appropriate and relevant to the inquiry, to make suitable recommendations and to report to the President in writing, the result of the inquiry within a period of three months from the date of swearing in of the Commission”.

President Mnangagwa said a notice officially announcing the setting up of the Commission would be published in the Government Gazette in accordance with the law.

Violence broke out in Harare’s city centre after some supporters of the MDC-Alliance embarked on a violent protest and besieged the 2018 harmonised elections’ National Results Command Centre before torching buildings and vehicles.