Analysts have expressed mixed feelings over the commission of inquiry’s findings with some saying the Kgalema Motlanthe commission tried to please everyone while others say its publication is reflective of President Mnangagwa’s commitment to cultivating transparency.
In an interview with The Mail and Telegraph, political analyst Eldred Masunungure said the commission was trying to delicately balance several interests.
“I think they were trying to navigate between a rock and a hard surface, you can see the manner in which the commission was trying to delicately balance several interests.
“The interest of the government and the ruling party, the interest of the opposition and the interest of the international or strong diplomatic community which has been eagerly awaiting the results of that commission.
“Equally important is also the interest of the security sector particularly of the army so you can see the deliberately delicate language that is used in the report so I see it as an attempt to please all and obviously when you do that, you run the risk of pleasing none,” Masunungure said.
Masunungure said the army may feel aggrieved by the commission’s findings.
“We have already received a vicious response from the MDC Alliance and the government I am sure the security sector may not be very happy with being fingered directly for committing the offences that they did on August 1 particularly killing six people and injuring about 35.
“The security sector may feel aggrieved about that especially when they explicitly denied that they were directly involved in the shooting to date of the innocent civilians so it was a delicate exercise and that delicacy is very apparent in the language used and the attempt not to offend every strategic interest that they did not consider in that report,” Masunungure said.
Another political analyst Richard Mahombva said the publication of the report is reflective of the Mnangagwa administration’s commitment to cultivating transparency with regards to contested political processes.
“The publication of the report is reflective of the Mnangagwa administration’s commitment to cultivating transparency with regards to contested political processes and threats to securing national interests.
“Of value is how it capsules a wide-flowing stream of sources of evidence that were used in the build-up of the Commission’s case.
“To this end, government’s commitment to ensuring public participation in promoting cohesion and social integration beyond the binaries of political divides is noted.
“Consequently, the report quite gives a clear outline of the racing propositions of violence which saw the nation plunging into a crisis owing to partisan instigation of terror at the behest of the MDC-Alliance.
“Against that backdrop, the report is indicative of the fact that Zimbabweans need to go beyond political polarisation and find a unifying point to the nation-building agenda,” Mahomva said.
Political analyst Lennon Manyengawana said the people who were commanding need to be brought to book
“When you look at the report that was presented by the President, it goes into detail, telling you what happened.
“People were shot, people were killed, what are you going to do about it? Can training people be sufficient enough to say okay you are going to be training the response teams?
“I think whoever was commanding them, whoever was responsible for that needs to be brought to book.
“Compensation, yes you can talk of compensation but is there a stipulated amount that you can pay for someone’s life when life is lost because this is a new phenomenon, we have had demonstrations that go out hand,” Manyengawana said.
Manyengawana said three questions that needed to be answered by the commission have not been answered.
“The real issue that people want to hear at the moment is what is going to be done to the people who shot these people and it is being said in a bracket whether it is just saying the responsibility of the of the deaths lays on the soldiers and the police but you are not specifying it, this soldier and this soldier shot people on this day because the blame is now being put on the command structure whether you are saying the command structure was not clear and there were issues so we do not know who commands who.
“In an army where you are the commander in chief and you say you do not know who issued the command, it is a very bleakly statement that you could say as the commander in chief because every commander has to come through you.
“If there is another person who is commanding besides you, that person needs to be brought to book because it simply means our army can be commanded by every jack and Jill, they can call the army to go and shoot people in town and you as the president, you do not know.
“The solder’s mandate is to protect the people of Zimbabwe against external threats or maybe terrorism but not to go and quench demonstrations so the commission of inquiry was a bluff, it was a waste of money because at the end of the day it did not answer the fundamental questions,” Manyengawana said.