THE ongoing commission of inquiry into the August 1 post-electoral disturbances has brought out the intense rivalry existing between Zanu PF and MDC with witnesses of both parties trading accusations over who exactly was responsible for the violence.
MDC supporters who took to the witness’s stand during Day 4 of the high-profile inquiry on Friday were adamant that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as commander in chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was entirely responsible for the killing of six civilians by the army.
On the other hand, Zanu PF supporters also accused losing MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa of psyching up his followers for post-election violence during his campaigns for the July 30 elections.
Makomborero Haruzivishe, a member the pro-MDC generational consensus movement, went all out to nail President Mnangagwa.
“Our constitution in Zimbabwe is clear that only the President, the commander in chief of the defence forces is the only one who has powers to deploy the army in whatever they do,” said Haruzivishe in reference to the deployment of army personnel who later fired the fatal shots on central Harare.
However, Zanu PF’s Zivanai Mugwara shot back saying Chamisa should be responsible for all the ills that happened on the fateful day.
He centred his argument on what he said were the MDC leader’s incitement on his followers to defend what he said would be a stolen vote, when he conducted his rallies.
“MDC leader in Gweru actually said if he doesn’t win the elections, he was going to throw sand (into the election). In Shona, he said tinokanda mavhu, jecha and this country will be ungovernable,” said Mugwara.
Human rights activist Vivid Gwede questioned why the seven-member panel did have not have a single human rights defender when the inquiry had everything to do with the violation of human rights.
“In Zimbabwe, we have a Human Rights Commission, amongst the people in here, I should expect to see a member of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission because the commission was set up to investigate the human rights cases. What justifies the exclusion of the Zimbabwe Human rights in this commission,” said Gwede.
Meanwhile, another witness Ignatius Neshava, who lost a brother-in-law in the shootings, also narrated a heart-rending experience of seeing his colleague shot dead in cold blood.
“My brother fell onto my legs when he was shot by the soldiers and when I tried to assist him, one of the soldiers pointed a gun at me telling me to leave him like that and I explained to him that he was my brother in law,” he said.
The commission of inquiry into the country’s bloodiest electoral episode since the violent 2008 presidential run-off election opened on Tuesday with clear signs this was going to turn out into another bruising Zanu PF-MDC duel.
The Kgalema Motlanthe chaired probe team is expected to conclude its investigation within a period of 90 days after which it shall report to its principal President Mnangagwa who, on his part, has promised to publish the findings.