‘Motlanthe Commission wasted taxpayers’ money’

THE Motlanthe Commission into the August 2018 fatal shooting of seven civilians by the army was a waste of taxpayers’ money as two years after it completed its work, the government is yet to implement its recommendations, a human rights watchdog has said.
Led by former South Africa president Kgalema Motlanthe, the commission comprised a seven-member panel set up to interrogate the  2018 post-election violence in Harare where the civilians were gunned down to quell anti- government demonstrations.
The commission recommended, among other things, compensation for victims of the atrocities, implementation of electoral reforms and holding to account perpetrators of rights violations.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) said a year-and-a-half into the commission of inquiry’s findings and recommendations, nothing has been done for the victims and the perpetrators remain free.
“It leaves in question the government’s band aid intention in establishing and appointing the commission of inquiry with whom it had no obligation to implement the recommendations.
“The government has not fulfilled the recommendations; instead politicians have sought to use the report more as a public relations document rather than a sincere quest for reform and nation-building,” read the report.
The report indicated that in terms of compensating the victims, the government has failed to meet this obligation as it is yet to set up a fund to support the victims and victims’ families.
“ZimRights has instituted court proceedings to have the court order payment of damages for some victims who were injured.
“Through a firm of private lawyers, the minister of Defence has accepted the summons’ claims…raising that the summons are defective as they do not identify the specific members of the military who caused the harm,” read the report.
“Parliament, acting on the recommendations from numerous election observation missions, the commission of inquiry and appeals by civil society, has introduced legislation to repeal and replace the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).
The report added that the government had also failed to facilitate reconciliation as it opted to formulate the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) led by the same government accused of rights violations.
The government has on the other hand insisted it has implemented the recommendations of the commission.
Justice ministry’s permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza, who was also the commission’s secretary, recently said the recommendations had been implemented, citing the reform of laws including Posa and Aippa and the existence of Polad for political tolerance.


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