Former SA President Motlanthe clashes with MDC Alliance activist

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Harare: MDC activist Islam Madhosi on Thursday clashed with former South Africa president, Kgalema Motlanthe over the inclusion of certain local members of the Commission of Inquiry into the killing of six civilians on August 1st.

Madhosi, who described himself as the elections director for the MDC Alliance, claimed the Zimbabwean members of the commission were biased against the opposition and even called one “a member of the ruling Zanu PF party.”

Speaking as the fifth witness at the inquiry’s third day of public hearings in the capital, Madhosi said Charity Manyeruke, Lovemore Madhuku and Virginia Mabhiza must recuse themselves from the commission as they were “compromised.”

“They can’t say anything negative about their boss,” he said.

Motlanthe chastised Madhosi saying his claims were not within the “remit of the commission” and that all members had taken an oath and were performing within its terms.

Madhosi’s claims echo some concerns mentioned after the announcement of the commission as many doubted the impartiality of some of its members due to perceived close ties to the government.

In a guest column for Newsday in September, political analyst Alex Magaisa doubted the impartiality of local members of the commission.

He described Manyeruke as “a well-known supporter” of Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“She has been cheer-leading Mnangagwa and Zanu PF on both social and public media and has been highly critical of the MDC Alliance and Nelson Chamisa. She is hardly an independent commissioner, even by lowest standards of measurement. The conflict of interest is beyond question,” Magaisa wrote.

Magaisa also criticised the involvement of Madhuku, on the grounds the commission member had been a presidential candidate during the 2018 harmonised election and was therefore an “interested party.”

Mabhiza, who is secretary to the commission, is Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and therefore can be said to be a subordinate of President Mnangagwa.