Zimbabwean human rights organisations under the Crisis in Zimbabwe banner have engaged former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe, raising questions and seeking global support in dealing with the never-ending crisis that could have been solved with the implementation of recommendations by a 2018 commission.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in the aftermath of the bloody 1 August 2018 shootings of unarmed civilians by the military, appointed a commission then chaired by Motlanthe that made several recommendations that have been largely ignored four years on.
The recommendations included that those soldiers involved in the killing of six unarmed civilians be held accountable but, to date, nothing has happened to them.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson Peter Mutasa confirmed engaging Motlanthe and other regional leaders to push Mnangagwa to implement the commission’s report.
Mutasa, on behalf of over 80 organisations under the Crisis in Zimbabwe banner, said there was a need for intervention to ensure the implementation of the report.
Motlanthe led South Africa following the departure of Thabo Mbeki from the political scene.
The commission had National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Lovemore Madhuku as a member and also included lawyer Vimbai Nyemba, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke and others from different countries as members.
The organisation said it was a concern that four years later, Mnangagwa has continued to ignore the recommendation of the Motlanthe Commission while the country continues on a path of lawlessness and human rights violations.
“As the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we are deeply concerned over the lack of political will by the Zimbabwean government to implement recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry following the August 1, 2018 army shootings,” Mutasa told The NewsHawks this week.
Mutasa said what has become clear of Mnangagwa’s failure to act is his lack of sincerity in addressing issues raised by the commission.
It is becoming clear that when he instituted the Monthlante Commission, President Mnangagwa was simply playing politics and trying to give a picture of a government that was willing to reform. We have thus engaged His Excellency Kgalema Motlanthe highlighting our concerns over the non-implementation of the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry,” Mutasa added.
“It is very unfortunate that almost four years after the commission gave its recommendations to the Zimbabwean government, we continue to witness consolidation of authoritarian rule and militarisation of key state institutions as well as the failure to implement reforms that will pave the way for credible polls.”
“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition will continue to seek regional as well as global support in light of the continued closure of democratic and civic space in Zimbabwe. President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement drive should be anchored on genuine reforms back home. He must walk the talk.”
Zimbabwe has also ignored security sector reforms, electoral reforms, dialogue among other critical recommendations by the commission.
Observers said failure to implement the recommendations by the Monthlante commission will likely lead to another bloody and disputed 2023 elections.
The commission also recommended for those involved in the killing of innocent civilians should be held accountable and allow justice to take its course.
No information has been availed on whether the involved soldiers were punished or not with former Presidential Guard commander Anselem Sanyatwe now Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Tanzania.
Another recommendation from the Motlanthe Commission was the setting up of a “genuine” multi-stakeholder dialogue platform that would have seen the two biggest political rivals engage in talks.
Mnangagwa claims to have met this recommendation by putting up the Political Actors’ Dialogue (Polad) platform that has been snubbed by Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa, who described it as an aimless monologue.