Source: Commission requests video footage | The Herald November 14, 2018
Zvamaida Murwira and Nyemudzai Kakore
THE Commission of Inquiry into the Post-election Violence yesterday requested video footage of the August 1 disturbances from various international media organisations who were covering the July 30 harmonised elections.
In a letter addressed to Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana, the commission’s secretary Mrs Virginia Mabiza said the commission will be grateful if the video footages were availed to them by November 19.
Mrs Mabiza said the video footages could be obtained from ITV, eNCA, Al-Jazeera and SABC.
“The Commission of Inquiry into the 1st of August, 2018 Post Election Violence, has directed that video footages of the violence that took place on the 1st of August, 2018 in the Harare Central Business District be availed to the Commission,” wrote Mrs Mabiza.
“We, therefore, kindly request your urgent assistance to obtain the video footages from the following media houses: (a) ITV (b) eNCA (c) Al-Jazeera (d) SABC. The Commission will be grateful if you avail the video footages by the 19th of November, 2018.”
Mrs Mabiza said cooperation in that regard would be highly appreciated.
Forty-six countries, 15 regional and continental bodies were invited to observe the July 30 harmonised elections, as President Mnangagwa’s administration made good on its pledge for transparent, free and fair elections.
The seven-member Commission of Inquiry, which is chaired by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, is gathering evidence which it will present to President Mnangagwa in the form of a report.
Meanwhile, MDC founding member and former legislator, Mr Gabriel Chaibva, yesterday told the commission that he gathered evidence that some civilians were shooting from high rise buildings during the post-election violence that erupted in Harare on August 1.
Giving oral evidence before the commission, Mr Chaibva said he observed that members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces that had been deployed were shooting into the air.
“My informant told me that they saw some MDC-Alliance youths with a pistol and they were trying to use it and accidentally shot each other and two of them are likely among those whose bodies were dumped at Parirenyatwa Hospital,” he said.
“They were not shot at by the army. Our investigation also established that a businessman discharged his gun by mistake when confronted by demonstrating youths.
“We could not establish if anyone died from the discharge, but it may be possible that some bodies were a result of that discharge.”
Mr Chaibva said shooting by civilians from high rise buildings were captured and broadcast by a South African news television station eNCA reporter Thulasizwe Simelane.
“The soldiers, as they were running, at first they were shooting in the air, quite clearly, no doubt about that, pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa,” he said.
“They went to Kaguvi (Street), still they continued shooting in the air, two of them.
“The civilians who were there were saying someone is shooting from this building, it is on television, on eNCA, so I am not creating things from my own mind.
“Let’s go and get original files, raw footage and you will see. I interviewed a couple of people (to say) are you sure, and they said yes, someone is shooting from there.”
On Monday, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces denied killing any civilian during an operation aimed at restoring order in Harare’s central business district following the violent demonstration by the opposition supporters.
The military intervened as the National Reaction Force comprising officers from various security units and the deployment followed consultations at the highest level.