Motlanthe Commission resumes inquiry in Harare

President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed the seven-member commission of inquiry, led by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe,

The seven-member Commission of Inquiry into the August 1, 2018 Post-Election Violence chaired by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, resumed in the capital this Monday with testimonies being received from the ZRP, medical service providers who handled some of the cases and senior officers responsible for deploying law enforcement  agencies.

The first testimony came from two police details who were manning the Zanu PF provincial headquarters and the commission wanted to find out exactly what efforts they made to disperse the demonstrators and at what point they called in for extra help.

The second category of witnesses was the Director of Pathology Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Maxwell Hove who supervises those in charge of post-mortem reports and carrying of autopsies.

The commission wanted an explanation on why some of the initial post-mortem reports were disputed and had to be changed later where the initial cause of death was written stab wounds and then changed  to gunshot wounds, according to witness accounts by some relatives, including those of the late of Sylvia Maphosa.

They also asked clarification on the exact number of people who reported at hospitals as a result of the incident which were pegged at 12 at Harare Central Hospital and 13 at Parirenyatwa Hospital, including the one who was transferred from Harare hospital.

Police deploying officer on the day Officer Commanding Harare District Chief Superintendent Albert Ncube said although under POSA he was supposed to be in charge of command, he was not.

He said the force used was commensurate with the situation, in light of the threat posed by the disturbances.

He said it was difficult for the 167 police officers deployed on the day to contain the disturbances.

Chief Superintendent Ncube confirmed that an order was given that no firearms were to be used to safeguard the credibility of the election result as the country was in an election period.

He said he was not sure whether those who had come to help him had a similar instruction as they were coming from the Police Protection Unit and at no point was he told that the military was coming to help reinforce the police team.

Chief Superintendent Ncube feels it was necessary that he should have met with the military so that they could see how they were going to work together in the operation. – ZBC

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