Army killings: Church says government cannot investigate itself

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By Staff Reporter

THE military and the police cannot investigate recent shootings and beatings of citizens by the military and President Emmerson Mnangagwa must make good his promise to have an independent inquiry into the violence.

This was said by Zimbabwe Divine Destiny head, Bishop Ancellimo Magaya, while addressing a press conference in Harare last Friday.

The ZDD leader, said Zimbabwe should not be plunged into a state of fear reminiscent of characterized by state sponsored violence witnessed after disputed elections in 2008.

“We do not accept recent reports pointing to the fact that the police and the army are said to or have put together an inquiry team into this tragic event,” he said.

“These state security arms are already subjects of inquiry themselves given their implicit involvement. Why and how do they investigate themselves.”

Bishop Magaya said an inquiry by a commission made up of the army and police would not be partial and objective, adding that the church would not accept any smoke-screened commission.

“We therefore demand an independent body appointed by other significant stakeholders, the church included, to lead this probe.

“The presidium and all those in the security sector are compromised on this matter and cannot therefore investigate themselves.”

He said politicians should not play power games using innocent citizens as pawns and fodder to settle their political differences and score cheap political points, adding the church was surprised that the military had to be called into civilian space which should have been the duty of the police in terms of the constitution.

“Further to the sad development is why we have selective application of the law where alleged perpetrators and insinuators of this unfortunate incident are being arrested while the soldier/s who committed the heinous crime of shooting and killing innocent citizens with evidence already in the public domain are not apprehended,” he said.

Bishop Magaya said political parties should sign up to the peace pledge that they signed up to, saying it had been recorded in heaven.