The 7-member commission of inquiry into the post election violence of 1 August 2018 has begun gathering oral evidence from the public who witnessed what happened on the day.
The setting up of the commission of inquiry is in keeping with the new dispensation’s thrust of promoting transparency and accountability in the country’s justice system.
As the commission began its public hearings this Tuesday, the members spent most of the morning in a closed meeting to deliberate on the modus operandi and at 13.30 hrs, proceedings began with an address by the Chairman, Dr Kgalema Motlanthe expressing confidence that the team will deliver a credible result in accordance with the mandate given to it by the head of state.
He expressed confidence in members of his team, which is made up of high profile figures like former Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Tanzanian Commander Defence Forces General Davis Mwamunyange, the Queen’s Counsel and UK lawyer Rodney Dixon, as well as locals Professor Lovemore Madhuku and Professor Charity Manyeruke from the University of Zimbabwe and former Law Society of Zimbabwe president Vimbai Nyemba.
Secretary of the Commission, Mrs Virginia Mabhiza apologized for the delay in starting the proceedings and outlined the roles that former South African President Motlanthe has played in the history of his country and in the shaping of the Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement.
The first witness to take the stand was a local observer during the elections, Patricia Ruzawi, followed by ward 16 Harare council candidate in the elections Nyasha Gift Tapfumaneyi Zenda whose campaign bus was reduced to ashes by demonstrators during the post election violence that saw six Zimbabweans losing their lives.
A senior worker based at the Zanu PF Harare provincial office had the commissioners and the public gallery in stitches most of the time during his presentation during the hearing.
The commission was set up in accordance with section 10 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the hearings are scheduled until the 18th of October 2018.