Hre army killings: US demands ‘credible and transparent’ investigation

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE should ensure a transparent and credible investigation into the killing of six protestors as deadly violence rocked Harare after the July 30 elections, the United States government has insisted.

Washington’s top envoy in Harare said Wednesday President Donald Trump’s administration was deeply troubled by the events of August 1 when the military shot at opposition activists protesting against results of the crunch ballot.

Six people lost their lives while several others were injured. Dozens of opposition activists have since appeared in court over the violence, but no arrests have been made in connection with the killings.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised a commission of inquiry into the killings, adding that the probe team would also comprise foreign experts.

However, speaking after meeting Mnangagwa in Harare Wednesday US ambassador Brian Nichols said “violence and the death of six people, intimidation of opposition polling agents, violence in high density suburbs have all been issues of concerns.

“There should be a transparent and credible investigation and those involved should be charged according to the constitution of Zimbabwe. Respect for human rights, rule of law and economic reforms should be observed.”

The deployment of the military to quell the post-election violence and subsequent killing of six people was widely condemned by the international community.

Feeling the heat, Harare has defended sending soldiers into central Harare, saying there wasn’t enough police cover in the capital because of country-wide deployments ahead of the elections.

Ambassador Nichols’ one-hour meeting with Mnangagwa was likely testy after Washington recently extended its sanctions against Zimbabwe in a development deplored by the Zanu PF government.

“The conversation we had was very productive but, we are concerned with recent events and human rights situation of August 1,” said Nichols after the meeting.

“President Mnangagwa has stressed commitment to creating a peaceful environment for Zimbabwe and to respect human rights.”

He added; “(US president Donald) Trump is committed to a positive relationship with Zimbabwe.

“We support freedom of speech, democracy, free and fair elections but we do not support any particular person or party.”