Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Philip Valerio Sibanda says he received orders to deploy soldiers on August 1 from Vice President Chiwenga, and not from President Mnangagwa. He said this while giving his testimony before the Motlanthe Commission in Harare on Monday. This concurs with the ruling handed down by High Court judge, Justice Mangota that Chiwenga was responsible for ordering the deployment of soldiers who allegedly shot at fleeing unarmed civilians. Six people are reported to have been killed by the military. General Sibanda said
I saw a letter from Commissioner-General of Police to the Minister of Home Affairs (then Obert Mpofu), then a letter from the Minister of Home Affairs to the Minister of Defence (then Chiwenga), then a letter from Minister of Defence to the President requesting assistance from the army. I do not know if the President responded to the letter from the Defence minister. I assume there was verbal communication, I received orders from the Minister of Defence verbally to deploy the military to help the police.