Mnangagwa is a BIG LIAR: Jonathan Moyo attacks Motlanthe Commission Report

By Jonathan Moyo: It’s notable that the Motlanthe Commission Report does not extricate the Commission from the antecedent toxicity, arising from its flawed composition and terms of reference, that exposed it upfront as a compromised Zanu PF Public Relations scheme. In fact, the report confirms these flaws.

The fact that the Commission did nothing to liberate itself from its founding prejudices, especially with regards to its flawed composition and terms of reference, means its report cannot be expected to meet legitimate public expectations. Something never comes from nothing.

There’s something instructive from the old-age Shona adage that “rine manyanga hariputirwi”. This is particularly true where atrocities are involved. It is impossible to use a Commission or anything else for that matter, to hide or escape from gross crimes against humanity.

The smoke and mirrors in Motlanthe Commission’s Report cannot obfuscate the fact that everyone knows why the Commission was setup in the first place. On 1 August, civilians were gunned down by soldiers and some were killed in cold blood and others brutally injured in broad daylight!

What happened was self-evident to the eye. What was not obvious and needed to be established for purposes of accountability was the identity, names, of the soldiers on rampage and crucially, the authority that deployed them with lethal ammunition in a civilian situation!

Mnangagwa publicly told the nation and the world that he did not know who deployed the soldiers; meaning that it was not him. That he did not know was the only reason why Zimbabweans and the international community demanded an independent international commission to investigate!

Notwithstanding the antics by Motlanthe’s Commission to dance in the dark with smoke and mirrors; and notwithstanding its convulted terms of reference, only two key questions needed factual answers: (a) who are the soldiers that killed civilians and(b) who deployed them?

Who deployed the soldiers?

The Commission had no stomach to bluntly say it was Mnangagwa. It confirms the fact by claiming the deployment “was lawful”, a matter of law for a court, and by attaching on page 100 Obert Mpofu’s and Chiwenga’s letters which say it was Mnangagwa.

The finding that Mnangagwa deployed the soldiers is significant in two respects:

(a) Clearly Mnangagwa lied in August that he did not know who had deployed the soldiers. This is egregious.

(b) Responsibility and accountability for what the soldiers did is with Mnangagwa!
Who killed and injured civilians?

“The Commission’s finding on a balance of probabilities from all the evidence is that the deaths of six (6) people and the injuries sustained by thirty five (35) others arose from the actions of the Military and Police”.

Regarding the causes of death and injury of civilians on 1 Aug, the Report says on page 40:

“The Commission has NOT RECEIVED ANY CONCRETE EVIDENCE THAT ANY PERSON other than the Army and Police used guns during the protests on 1 August 2018”.

This puts paid to Vanguard crap!

Whereas the Report clearly says the six civilians who died were killed by the Army or Police and the 35 civilians were injured by the Army, the Commission fails to name the soldiers and police officers who committed specific atrocities. This renders the Report a big cover up!

The Commission’s failure to name the culpable soldiers and police officers is a dereliction of duty against its mandate. Even worse is its recommendation that the Police should investigate the 1 August crimes and the Army should identify and sanction its culpable soldiers.

The Report says the Army or Police killed the six dead and the Army injured the 35 injured, and that no one else but the Army and Police used guns; and that Mnangagwa deployed the soldiers yet the Commission assigns no accountability to him, his VP, ministers, Army and Police bosses.

The Commission’s position that only soldiers and police officers should be held accountable after further investigations and that no political and legal accountability should attach to Mnangagwa, his VP, ministers, Army and Police bosses is contrary to domestic and international law.

The Commission belabours the point that it was a fact-finding process, and not a court of law. Yet its Report makes findings of law, notably that the military deployment was lawful. The Commission had no basis or competence whatsoever to draw such a scandalous conclusion.

The Commission alleges that the 1 August demonstrations, which it acknowledges kicked off peacefully, “had been incited, pre-planned and well organized by the MDC-Alliance”. But the Report does not have any evidence that shows or proves any PRE-PLANNING by the MDC-Alliance.

“Pre-planning” means “organising in advance”. It is revealing that the only pre-planning about 1 Aug that is proved in the Report was done by the Army and the Police on 29 July BEFORE even voting started on 30 July. The Report’s Appendix 7 has police letters that prove this!

Nothing in the Report explains why the Police and Army were planning about 1 August protests on 29 July. All of their 1 August letters refer to 29 July. Is this not the smoking gun that points to who planned and orchestrated the 1 August protests? Why was this not investigated?

The Army and Police pre-planning on 29 July is damaging given the Report’s finding that the Army deployment “COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF THE POLICE WERE ADEQUATELY EXPERIENCED, better equipped and more suitably organized”. This is damming. Why blame the MDC-Alliance for this!

The Report of the Motlanthe Commission is poorly written, badly reasoned and self-contradictory. It’s the worst published Report by a Commission of Inquiry since 1980. Its saving grace is that it puts paid to the lie that Mnangagwa did not know who deployed the Army on 1 Aug.


jonathan moyo

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