Mnangagwa ‘Obliged’ To Release Motlanthe Commission Report According To Legal Experts

Zimbabwean lawyers are of the view that President Emmerson is under an obligation to release the findings of the Motlanthe Commission. This comes after Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba insinuated that the report was for Mnangagwa’s eyes alone and that he would use his discretion on whether or not to make the report public. Harare lawyer, Alec Muchadehama differed with that view. He said

Members of the public entertained a reasonable expectation that results will be made public. The President is obliged to do so because of public expectations.

Section 62 gives citizens some rights to information. The citizens have the right to information held by the State for public accountability purposes. Even the media has the right to know. Section 5 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act also gives people the right to information. Even under international best practices, the people have the right to know the outcome of a process they participated in.

… There are already questions surrounding the Chihambakwe report (the report on the inquiry into the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s), Mnangagwa should try to earn the public’s confidence by making it public or this will satisfy our suspicion that the inquiry was an international public relations gimmick.

Kudakwashe Hove, another lawyer expressed the same sentiments as those of Muchadehama. Hove had this to say

People died and information in the public interest and public good should be disclosed. Even if the Commission of Inquiry Act can give Mnangagwa such right, the Act will be ultra vires the Constitution because it denies people the right to information granted in the supreme law.

Even principles of good governance call for transparency. The Motlanthe Commission was paid using taxpayers’ money. If Mnangagwa keeps the findings, a person who does not have any relative who was killed on August 1, what will the people whose relatives died think? Will this bring closure to the issue?

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More: Newsday

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