By Idah Mhetu
MDC deputy national chair, Tendai Biti has piled more misery on Charity Manyeruke who has been the target of constant opposition attacks for being part of the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election disturbances when she was in fact, a known card carrying member of Zanu PF.
He was giving oral evidence before the Kgalema Motlanthe led probe team into the Harare protests that resulted in the shooting and killing of six civilains by suspected soldiers.
Biti also questioned the inclusion of British attorney Rodney Dixon and former Tanzania military boss Davis Mwamunyange in the seven member panel.
In his address, Biti followed the path taken by other opposition supporters who have appeared before the commission through questioning Manyeruke’s involvement with the panel.
“I have a problem with Commissioner Charity Manyeruke,” Biti said.
“I think that it is not in dispute that she is a member of the ruling party. It’s not in dispute that before the election, she appeared in recorded adverts or campaign material for the ruling party pitching for Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“The question is not whether she will be biased but the question is what is the perception of persons outside and certainly her perception is not correct.”
Manyeruke was last week linked to past acts of Zanu PF terror against the opposition by former Zanu PF provincial youth chair Jim Kunaka.
Kunaka claimed the University of Zimbabwe professor used to send youths to beat up party enemies.
Biti urged Manyeruke to resign from her role on the panel.
“In light of the fact that these allegations have been made against her, I would have thought that the decent thing for her as a self-respecting person was simply to resign,” Biti said.
The MDC politician also questioned the impartiality of two other commissioners, Dixon whom he said has connections with military governments.
He also said former Tanzania Defence Forces chief, General Davis Mwamunyange’s impartiality could be compromised by the latter’s personal relations with Vice president Constantino Chiwenga, who is also former Defence Forces commander.
“I also have a problem with the Barrister from UK. He is of a strong association with military and military governments. He actually advices military juntas.
“The question is not whether he will actually be biased but what is the perception out there. What is the subjective impression? I also would like to know criteria that he was chosen.
“There are probably over a million lawyers in the United Kingdom. Is it that he was chosen purely because of his association with the military junta,” Biti said while referring to the current Zanu PF led government which opponents derisively refer to as the junta for allegedly having strong influence in government.
“I also have a problem with the General of the Republic of Tanzania. The intelligence we have in our party is that he strongly associated with our Vice President. So what’s the perception to the general public.
“I would have thought that what was simply needed was neutral people like Kgalema Motlanthe and Chief Emeka Anyaouku, people with no bone in the fight,” he said.
The Commissioners were appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.