By Ranga Mataire
Former South African president, Kgalema Motlanthe, has hailed President Emmerson Mnangagwa for coming up with an international Commission of Inquiry into post-election violence of August 1 that is composed of individuals with different professional backgrounds.
Motlanthe chairs the seven-member commission made up of local and foreign members.
The other members are United Kingdom-based Queen’s Counsel Rodney Dixon, former Commonwealth Secretary General and Nigerian national Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Tanzanian Defence Forces General Davis Mwamunyange, University of Zimbabwe Dean of Political Science Professor Charity Manyeruke, constitutional law lecturer Professor Lovemore Madhuku and former president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Vimbai Nyemba.
Motlanthe told The Southern Times after being sworn in that he was happy with the composition of the commission whose mandate was to investigate the circumstances leading to the loss of six lives following the post-election violence instigated by MDC Alliance supporters.
“I am very pleased with the composition of the commission. This is not the first time that I have been involved in work of this nature. You might be aware that I was the leader of the African Union’s Election Observer Mission to Sierra Leone, which ensured that the presidential run-off election was conducted in line with international standards,” said Motlanthe.
The former SA leader expressed hope that Zimbabweans would freely express their views to the commission. He said reports that one of the commissioners, Prof Madhuku, was a presidential candidate would not compromise the commission as its findings were to be derived from the people.
Motlanthe currently heads the Motlanthe Foundation dedicated to a range of public benefit activities, including conflict resolution, the promotion of human rights and democracy and the provision of care for pre-school-age children, along with buildings, equipment and educational support for public primary schools.
Also speaking after being sworn in, Chief Anyaoku said he has been a friend of Zimbabwe since the time when he was the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
“I am particularly glad. It’s only Zimbabwe that has brought me out of retirement. I have been a friend of Zimbabwe for a very long time. I was part of the negotiations in Lusaka, Zambia, that paved the way for the Lancaster House conference in London,” said Chief Anyaoku.
He expressed hope that the findings of the commission will promote transparency and ensure that Zimbabwe “returns to the international community”.
The commission will, among other things, inquire into the circumstances leading to the 1 August post-election violence; identify the actors and their leaders, their motive and strategies employed in the protests; inquire into the intervention by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the maintenance of law and order; investigate the circumstances which necessitated the involvement of the military in assisting in the maintenance of law and order; consider whether the degree of force used was appropriate to the ensuing threat to public safety, law and order; and ascertain the extent of damage/injury caused thereof.