THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has vowed to approach the seven-member commission probing the fatal shooting of seven civilians by the military on August 1, demanding that two of the commissioners Lovemore Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke recuse themselves as they were “compromised” and unlikely to produce a balanced report.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume told NewsDay Weekender early this week that they would soon approach commission chair, former South African President Kalema Motlanthe, to express their reservations over Madhuku and Manyeruke’s involvement in the investigations, labelling them as “government apologists”.
He claimed that Madhuku could not be expected to act independently as he had contested the July 30 election as one of the presidential candidates, while Manyeruke was a known Zanu PF activist.
The commission, sworn-in by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, was tasked to inquire into the violence which left at least seven people dead after soldiers opened fire in the capital’s central business district to quell a demonstration by MDC Alliance supporters protesting the delay in the announcement of the presidential poll.
Several MDC Alliance activists have been arrested over the protests, with top government officials accusing opposition leaders of fomenting the deadly clashes to dent Mnangagwa’s global image.
“Charity Manyeruke has shown over the years that she is a Zanu PF member and praise singer, while Madhuku has recently turned into a government apologist,” Mafume said.
“He (Madhuku) is ready to hail government at any given opportunity using complex reasons. He was a political player in the elections which are being investigated and for all we know he could have been one of the protestors. We are therefore unsure why political players out of a population of over 13 million could be chosen to be in this commission.”
MDC Alliance leaders face the prospects of being summoned to give evidence before the commission, following allegations that they incited protestors to take to the streets.
Mafume said the party had not yet taken a positon on whether to testify before the commission.
In an interview just after the August 1 incident, Madhuku blamed both Chamisa and the soldiers for the violence.
“Soldiers are at fault because they ran and shot people, but also the people who had incited the protestors by saying they will not accept the result we will reverse it and pushed people to the streets, also erred,” Madhuku said then.
“Chamisa and MDC are trying to carry their voters to 2023. It’s a method they use at the MDC, when the election ends they say they have been robbed. Your voters then carry that message with them until 2023. They campaign on that.”
Madhuku told journalists at the swearing-in ceremony this week that if there was need for him to recuse himself, he would gladly do so although he insisted that he could handle his duties without the burden of his political office.