Motlanthe commission in spotlight as concern mounts over Zimbabwe violence

Kgalema Motlanthe-led commission of inquiry into the August 1 killings

Harare – The United Nations (UN) System in Zimbabwe on Friday said it was concerned with the recent spate of violence in which 12 people died and hundreds were left injured.

In a statement, the body called for investigations that would result in violence perpetrators being brought to account and justice to be affected.

“The United Nations is concerned over the recent spate of violence in Zimbabwe, leaving trails of destruction, looting, mass arrest and detention as well as reported physical violence, rape cases and sexual violence,” it said.

“The investigations should result in holding the perpetrators to account and bringing justice to those affected, assisting families who lost loved ones, ensuring due process of law to those in custody and providing survivors with necessary health, psycho-social and legal services.”

The UN castigated all forms of violence, which it said were a threat to rights and dignity.

“Acts of violence, rape, and other forms of violence are heinous crimes and a serious threat to every individual’s rights to life and dignity. The safety, security and dignity of every person are universal human rights enshrined in the country’s Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Legal think-tank Veritas Zimbabwe said in the aftermath of the violent protests, recommendations from the Kgalema Motlanthe commission of inquiry into the August 1 post-election violence have become significant.

“Recent disorders in our major cities, and the tragic killing of 12 or more people, give new relevance to the report and recommendations of the commission of inquiry [the Motlanthe Commission] set up to investigate the violence and shootings that followed last year’s election,” Veritas said.

“If more of the commission’s recommendations had been implemented, some of the killings, beatings and human rights violations perpetrated in the recent disturbances might have been prevented. Something must be done to end the cycle of impunity.”

The Motlanthe commission’s report identified extreme political polarisation as one of the root causes of the disorder.

African News Agency (ANA)