The Commission of Inquiry into the August 1, 2018 Post-Election Violence has implored police to investigate allegations of threats of violence directed to one of the people who testified before it last week, journalist Maynard Manyowa.
The commission’s spokesperson John Masuku said it was brought to their attention that Manyowa was viciously attacked on social media and also threatened in person including his two wives, children and employees right from the time he was testifying live on ZBC Television and other online streaming media.
Masuku also noted that pictures of Manyowa’s property have been exposed on various social media accounts with threats of causing physical harm and death to him, his family, and employees. Manyowa has since reported his case to the police.
Masuku issued a statement on the Commision’s position in regards the threats against Manyowa and any other citizen who testified.
“The Commision therefore implores the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other law enforcement agents to urgently and fully investigate Mr Manyowa’s allegations and bring to book all perpetrators of verbal or physical abuse, who cause harm, despondency and discouragement to citizens who have freely testified before it.
“The Commision reiterates that it is fully committed to protecting all citizens who appear before it, through law enforcement agents,” read part of the statement .
Masuku also added that the commission is disturbed by people who attack and denigrate the integrity, professional ability and reputation of some commissioners and the prerogative of the appointing authority who is the head of state and government.
“It should be borne in mind that His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa saw it fit to appoint the current Commissioners to carry out this national task in terms of the laws of the land. In fact, the courts have since made a judgement in favour of their unperturbed continuation of duty with the right to ask questions without any threats or hindrance,” he said.
Manyowa thanked the Commision for its swift intervention noted that he has already been physically attacked.
He said: “My family and I have seen the statement and welcome it.I would like to thank the members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and staff at the commission for their swift and compassionate responses. It’s unfortunate that some of the threats have been acted upon and I have become a victim of actual physical violence, while many continue to put up pictures of my property and are urging their kin to attack me on sight.”
He however vowed not to flee the country like he was forced to do under former president Robert Mugabe’s rule.
“I believe everyone has a right to free speech, but inciting people to harm others and wanting to cause needless discomfort and inconvenience is criminal. I have been given warrants that the perpetrators will be brought to book.
“I totally refuse to flee Zimbabwe as i did in the previous dispensation. This is my home and I have a constitutional right to be free and safe from harm.”