MADHUKU: Commission report ‘to show who did what’; chance to end impunity

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

THECommission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election killings’ report “wills how who did what in respect of those killed” and presents the country with a unique opportunity to deal with impunity.

This was said by Commission member and University of Zimbabwe law lecturer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, at a Human Rights Day symposium in Harare last week.

Headed by former South Africa president Kgalema Motlanthe, the Commission was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to probe the deadly violence which rocked the capital after the disputed July 30 elections.

Mnangagwa told the just ended national conference of the ruling Zanu PF party that theCommission’s report would be made public this week.

“I have since received the report of the commission of inquiry and will be making it public (this) week,” Mnangagwa.

The seven-member Commission initially came under-fire from the opposition and rights group, most arguing that it was not necessary as those responsible for the killings were known.

The six fatalities occurred after the military moved into central Harare firing at protestors demonstrating against perceived delays in releasing the results of the presidential election.

Critics also felt that the police should have investigated the matter and brought to book those responsible for the killings.

However, Prof Madhuku expressed a different view.

“There is debate in the country on whether that Commission was necessary at all and the question that was raised was why are we appointing a Commission of Inquiry, you are wasting money because it’s easy to tell who was involved in that and let’s have people arrested,” he said last week.

“I think that recognition of the fact that there should be a Commission of Inquiry to deal with (post-election violence) was also an acceptance that the security system in the country could not have been in a better position to do the investigations.”

According to Madhuku, establishment of the Commission also represented a significant break with the former regime of President Robert Mugabe.

“For the first time in our history we actually had the Commander of the DefenceForces and Commissioner General of the police being questioned in public to show cause as to how the military behaved which was watched by all Zimbabweans,”he said.

He added; “(this) an opportunity to deal with impunity, it is an opportunity to deal with accountability.“If the Commission is to come out with outrageous findings, it has to be accountable because everything was said in public expect for some few documents that were submitted and studied by theCommission in private.”