Poll vi­o­lence: Fi­nal re­port takes shape

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into the 1 Au­gust 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 19 De­cem­ber to fur­nish the Pres­i­dent with its re­port. Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa swore in the Com­mis­sion on 19 Septem­ber 2018 and gave it three months to com­plete its work.

In an in­ter­view with our Harare Bureau, 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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