Compensate August 1 Victims: NTJWG

The National Transitional Justice Working Group Zimbabwe (NTJWG) has condemned the government for failing to implement the Montlante Commission of Inquiry recommendations following the killing of six civilians on August 1, 2018.

On the aforementioned date, the military was deployed to contain protests by civilians following the harmonised elections which had been held on July 30, 2018. The military allegedly fired live ammunition at the unarmed citizens resulting in loss of life.

In a statement, NTJWG implored the government and state security agents to uphold the rule of law through the protection and promotion of human rights. “President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed a Commission led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe to investigate what had transpired and make recommendations to address the violence,” NTJWG noted.

“The Commission came up with several recommendations which included the payment of compensation, need for political reforms and accountability in respect of the alleged perpetrators, enforcement of law and order to ensure non-recurrence, national healing and reconciliation.”

NTJWG highlighted that the government, through the local newspaper the Sunday Mail, issued a falsified report on June 28, 2020, to the effect that all the recommendations from the Commission had been adhered to. “The information received from the victims and their legal representatives shows that they were not contacted and to date have not received any compensation. This conduct by the government to fail to implement the recommendations will result in continued human rights abuse, violence and impunity,” said NTJWG.

“We strongly condemn the continued use of inappropriate and unnecessary force by armed state security agents against unarmed civilians. We, therefore, recommend that to guard against the recurrence of similar violence, the government must fully implement the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission.”

NTJWG outlined that those who carried out the killings should be prosecuted. “The government must provide compensation to all victims and survivors of the August 1 violence. It should also make sure that it puts in place measures and programs aimed at building social cohesion and tolerance of diverging views by NPRC. This is necessary to deal with the history of violence and guarantee the non-recurrence of similar incidents in the future.”

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology

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