Harare – MDC Alliance principal and former finance minister Tendai Biti has been implicated in the August 1 protest that resulted in the deaths of 6 people.
The ongoing commission of inquiry into the cause of the protest has been told Biti addressed the MDC Alliance youths before they started burning properties and attacking people.
Testifying in the public hearings underway at a Harare Hotel, Stella Matsengarwodzi, a witness said she saw Biti addressing the youths who then started denouncing President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Soon after Biti spoke his car sped off and the remaining mob started chanting Chamisa Chamisa is who we want not Mnangagwa,” she said.
Matsengarwodzi said it shortly was after this the demonstrators attacked the zanu pf headquarters.
“It was within seconds not minutes,” she said.
Days after the protests Biti was arrested at the Zambian Border as he tried to seek for asylum in the neighbouring country after a crackdown on the opposition leaders by the state security.
Police documents supplied by Biti’s lawyer‚ however‚ suggest that authorities were investigating Biti for “unofficially and unlawfully” declaring MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa the duly elected president of Zimbabwe‚ in alleged violation of Zimbabwean electoral law.
The documents show that Biti also stands accused of public violence for “acting in consent with his accomplices still at large while armed with firearms‚ ammunition‚ stones‚ alleged to have committed act of violence and proceeded to burn various vehicles and one bus at the ZANU-PF provincial headquarters”.
The police blamed Biti for the violence that flared up in Zimbabwe after the country’s disputed election results were announced and ZANU PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa was named as president.
The ongoing inquiry into the post-election violence that rocked Harare on August 1 will continue today after a dramatic first day which saw witnesses nailing the opposition MDC Alliance protestors for triggering the chaos that left six people dead after a military intervention.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa set up a commission of inquiry which was sworn in on the 19th of September and is comprised of three Zimbabweans and four foreign nationals namely Vimbai Nyemba, Charity Manyeruke, Lovemore Madhuku ,Rodney Dixon (United Kingdom) Emeka Anyaoku (Nigeria) General Davis Mwamunyange (Tanzania) and Kgalema Motlanthe (South Africa).
Witnesses, on the first day of the inquiry, said the MDC-Alliance supporters went on a rampage, destroying property worth tens of thousands of dollars following the July 30 harmonised elections.