Poll violence: Final report takes shape

02 Dec, 2018 - 00:12 0 Views
Poll violence: Final report takes shape

The Sunday Mail

Norman Muchemwa

The Commission of Inquiry into the August 1, 2018 Post-Election Violence is compiling its final report containing its findings, which will be handed over to President Emmerson Mnangagwa within the stipulated time frame.

There were claims yesterday that the Commission had completed its report, with some individuals peddling falsehoods about what is contained in a document that has not been finalised.

President Mnangagwa set up the Commission, led by South Africa’s former President Mr Kgalema Mohlanthe, to investigate violence instigated by suspected MDC Alliance supporters who were demanding early release of the July 30 Presidential election results.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is constitutionally required to announce Presidential election results within five days of voting, but violent protestors took to the streets just two days after polling.

Six people died and at least 23 were injured.

More than 100 people and organisations presented testimonies and/or evidence to the Commission, and the body has until December 19 to furnish the President with its report.

President Mnangagwa swore in the Commission on September 19, 2018 and gave it three months to complete its work.

The terms of reference were: “(a) To inquire into the circumstances leading to the 1st of August 2018, post-election violence; (b) to identify the actors and their leaders, their motive and strategies employed in the protests; (c) to inquire into the intervention by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the maintenance of law and order;

“(d) To investigate the circumstances which necessitated the involvement of the military in assisting in the maintenance of law and order; (e) to consider whether the degree of force used was appropriate to the ensuing threat to public safety, law and order; (f) to assess extent of damage/injury caused thereof; (g) to investigate any other matters which the Commission of Inquiry may deem appropriate and relevant to the inquiry;

“(h) To make suitable recommendations; and (i) to report to the President in writing, the result of the inquiry within a period of three months from the date of swearing-in of the commissioners.”

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Secretary to the Commission Mrs Virginia Mabhiza said what had been presented to the President last week was an executive summary and not a full report.

“Commissioners are still compiling the final document which will be presented to the President within the stipulated timeframe.

“Evidence gathered by the Commission is vast and that will require a reasonable amount of time to collate and produce a credible report that will be handed over to the President.

“As you are aware, the Commission’s mandate will run until the 19th of December, that’s when the 90 day period will lapse since the Commissioners were sworn in on the 19th of September,” she said.

After the report is handed over to the President, it is his prerogative to decide what he will do with the document, Mrs Mabhiza said.

With Mr Motlanthe on the Commission are international law expert Mr Rodney Dixon (UK), former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku (Nigeria), former Tanzania People’s Defence Forces Commander General (Retired) Davis Mwamunyange, University of Zimbabwe lecturers professors Lovemore Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke, and former Law Society of Zimbabwe president Mrs Vimbai Nyemba.

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