The Motlanthe Commission Anniversary Of Shame – ISS

The Institute For Security Studies has openly critiqued the Motlanthe Commission of inquiry that was set up by President Mnangagwa just after the explosive 1 August killings of innocent victims in Harare. Sharing their opinion about the commission the ISS wrote;

The commission was headed by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe. That the commission’s task was damage control was made apparent by the inclusion among the commissioners of well-known Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front apologist Charity Manyeruke and by the fact that one of the terms of reference of the commission was to determine what ‘necessitated’ the deployment of soldiers thus foreclosing inquiry into a crucial aspect of the events.

The result was a report tailor-made to Mnangagwa’s requirements. The report commences by contrasting Mnangagwa’s calls for peace before the elections, with what is called ‘overwhelming video evidence’ of Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-A) leader Nelson Chamisa inciting violence.

As an example, the report references a video of a rural rally addressed by Chamisa and, presumably, this video was selected as being the most illustrative. Clicking on the link given in the PDF of the report takes one back to the report online and not to the expected video clip.

A video of the entire rally is, however, available on YouTube. Chamisa speaks entirely in Shona, so only the three Zimbabwean commissioners could have understood what he said. Chamisa does not say the words ‘quoted’ in the report or anything even remotely similar.

Other video evidence in this regard referred to by the commissioners is similarly defective. Yet this ‘evidence’ clearly informed the finding by the commission that the MDC-A was responsible for the violent demonstration and that it was pre-planned.

This isn’t the only key finding based on patently fabricated evidence. The commission found that the troops had been deployed in accordance with constitutional requirements. For this, they accepted a paper trail supplied by the government.

This comprised a letter by the district police chief on the ground to the provincial police chief; a letter from the commissioner-general of police to the home affairs minister; and then a letter from the home affairs minister to Chiwenga as the defence minister. These letters all followed the procedure set out in a section of Zimbabwe’s public order legislation – a section rendered void by the later constitutional requirement that presidential authority was necessary.

Other video evidence in this regard referred to by the commissioners is similarly defective. Yet this ‘evidence’ clearly informed the finding by the commission that the MDC-A was responsible for the violent demonstration and that it was pre-planned.

This isn’t the only key finding based on patently fabricated evidence. The commission found that the troops had been deployed in accordance with constitutional requirements. For this, they accepted a paper trail supplied by the government.

This comprised a letter by the district police chief on the ground to the provincial police chief; a letter from the commissioner-general of police to the home affairs minister; and then a letter from the home affairs minister to Chiwenga as the defence minister. These letters all followed the procedure set out in a section of Zimbabwe’s public order legislation – a section rendered void by the later constitutional requirement that presidential authority was necessary.

More: ISSAfrica 


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