President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been urged to take full responsibility for the deaths of at least 7 people who died after they were gunned down when soldiers used live bullets to disperse a protest by opposition supporters on August 1. The opposition and civic society organisations urged the president not to try to spin the situation by absolving soldiers and blaming the opposition.
Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda said,
Leaders do not use tragedies divisively, in fact, they use them to find the nation, take their time to work to rebuild, unite and find consensus in order to move the country forward. To try and spin these murders, wherein the Presidential Guard (the President as the instructing authority) was caught with its hands on the trigger is unfortunate and unwarranted.
Habakkuk Trust director Dumisani Nkomo said,
…The opposition can be blamed for arson, but the State must take responsibility for those that were shot. We expect an apology from the army and government and somebody somewhere must resign.
Ibhetshu likaZulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said,
If the protesters were breaking the law, you do not kill them, you arrest them. By infringing on their rights, the government is now the enemy of the people that it claims to be governing. The people are still waiting to hear him reprimand the military.