High Court dismisses challenge against August killings Inquiry Commission; case brought by family of victim

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

HIGH Court Judge Justice David Mangota dismissed Thursday an application challenging the legality of President Emmerson Mnangagwa Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election killings.

The application was brought by Allison Charles, a relative of one of the victims together with the Counselling Services Unit (CSU).

Mnangagwa appointed the commission after six people were killed as violence rocked Harare as the opposition protested the outcome of the July 30 elections.

Soldiers swiftly deployed into the city centre, shooting at the demonstrators.

Through their Harare lawyer Chris Mhike, the applicants argued that the inquiry commission was unconstitutional.

They wanted the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the National Peace and Reconciliation (NPRC) to conduct the investigations instead.

However, Justice Mangota ruled that inquiry panel was legally set up and that Mnangagwa’s conduct in constituted it was above reproach.

The court accused Charles and CSU of seeking to derail the work of the inquiry, adding that

The appointment of commissioners Lovemore Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke could not be challenged.

Headed by former South Africa president Kgalema Motlanthe, the commission is now moving to the eastern border city of Mutare as it continues its hearings.

It however, faced challenges in Bulawayo when locals protested, demanding to know why it was looking into the death of six people when there have been no answers over the 1980s killing of over 20,000 civilians by the military.

Three people were arrested during the protests and are currently out of custody on bail.