Govt exposes insincerity on investigations into August 1 shootings

The events that obtained today, October 16, 2018 when police and state security agents tried to block journalists from the public commission of inquiry into the shooting of civilians by the army on August 1, 2018 are regrettable to say the least.

It took intense lobbying for journalists to be finally allowed access into the conference room where the public inquiry was being held. This was after only journalists from the State media, had been allowed access.

The move further exposes the insincerity of the regime in as far as investigating the August 1 shootings and bringing the matter to a logical conclusion is concerned.

CiZC is concerned by the apparent attempt by the regime to try and sweep certain issues under the carpet by blocking the media from reporting on the work and activities of the Commission of Inquiry. Restricting media access to information points to a sinister motive on the part of the government.

As CiZC, we have already expressed our serious reservations concerning the local composition of the Commission of Inquiry.

With local members of the Commission of Inquiry largely being Zanu PF loyalists while some have highly questionable credentials, it seems the commission is aimed at pacifying the international community on the state recklessness that led to innocent souls being lost.

There is an apparent calculated move meant to absolve the state of wrong doing through this compromised Commission of Inquiry.

CiZC reiterates its position that by appointing a dubious Commission of Inquiry, President Mnangagwa has created parallel structures when the Constitution established Constitutional Bodies is Chapter 12 (Independent Commissions Supporting Democracy).

We are on record that the state ought to strengthen the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to undertake work of this nature as provided for under Section 243 (1) of the Constitution.

CiZC maintains that just like in the past years, the blame for the murder of civilians on August 1 lies squarely with the government of Zimbabwe. Because of party-state conflation, ZANU PF has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that they are prepared to use state resources to cling to power and block public access to critical information on public/national investigations.

It also has to be noted that Zimbabwe has a history of organized killings of innocent civilians at the hands of the government In some cases, there hasn’t been any attempt to investigate the issues while in other cases, government has completely expressed ignorance or chosen to keep quite on the murder and torture of civilians.

Some of the cases that have never been openly investigated include the Gukurahundi massacres which resulted in the death of more than 20 000 civilians as well as the murder of nearly 300 opposition activists in the June 2008 run-off election.

It has to be noted also that since the formation of the country’s biggest opposition in 1999, the country has continued to witness torture and murder of opposition activists and these issues have largely been ignored by Zanu PF as violence and murder reign supreme among their tactics to retain power. If anything, Zanu PF, despite its claims of a peaceful and tolerant party, has not and can never be expected to dismantle its violence machinery.

It is justifiable to conclude that the August 1 shootings were pre-meditated especially taking into consideration sentiments from senior Zanu PF officials that President Mnangagwa will shoot for power and also that the army stands ready to block opposition rule in the country.

Given the above, it is reasonable again to conclude that the motive behind the shootings is well-known.

As CiZC, we would like to kindly remind President Mnangagwa that while the so called Commission of Inquiry is ‘at work’ his order for police to swiftly act and bring the murderers of two year old, Professor Lumbe who was killed in June 2018 in Glendale has not yielded any fruit.

Professor’s alleged murderers are known Zanu PF activists who killed the minor after his father left Zanu PF for the opposition.

Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition