‘Two died before army deployment’
TWO victims of the August 1, 2018 violence died before the police asked the military to assist them quell the opposition-led post-election protests in Harare, it has been alleged.
Evidence brought before the Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence, chaired by South Africa’s former President Kgalema Motlanthe, indicates that at least two people were killed before military assistance was requested.
The opposition MDC Alliance, Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights and the private media have in recent days claimed the military killed six people during the violent protests that were fanned by people who claimed the election had been “stolen”.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF swept the polls, and MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa and his close acolytes had declared before hand that they would make Zimbabwe ungovernable if the opposition did not win.
Last week, after the Commission of Inquiry told Mr Chamisa to appear before it, the opposition leader labelled his supporters “stupid” for getting into the streets when they did, and indicated he would not appear before the panel unless President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga also did.
Commentators say this is part of Mr Chamisa’s “jittery strategy” to distance himself from the violence.
The Sunday Mail is reliably informed that a person who made submissions to the commission on condition of anonymity led evidence to the effect that two people were killed prior to the military lending assistance to the police.
“Among the most damning evidence is doctors’ confirmation of two people who died before the soldiers were deployed.
“This means that while there has been an assumption that it was the soldiers who shot the people, evidence at hand shows otherwise.
“Mr Chamisa did not betray his supporters out of ignorance, he knows that there is strong evidence to nail him.”
Commission Secretary Mrs Virginia Mabhiza yesterday said they expected Mr Chamisa to appear before the panel.
Asked why President Mnangagwa and VP Chiwenga had not been summoned, Mrs Mabhiza explained: “He (Mr Chamisa) was implicated several times by witnesses; so he has to give his side of the story. The President and the Vice-President were not implicated like Chamisa.”
Appearing before the commission last week, former MDC spokesperson Mr Gabriel Chaibva said MDC Alliance youths may have accidentally shot each other during the August 1 violence.
“Our investigation also established that a businessman discharged his gun by mistake when confronted by demonstrating youths. We could not establish if anyone died from the discharge but it may be possible that some bodies were a result of that discharge.
“They wanted nothing short of dead bodies to push their agenda. They had a clearly defined agenda to discredit the new Government.”
MDC Alliance spokesman Mr Jacob Mafume yesterday said the party would write to the commission tomorrow, and described Mr Chaibva as “a bitter ex MDC member”.