Source: Govt clears air on inquiry report | The Herald December 5, 2018
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa made an undertaking to make the results of the August 1 inquiry public way before appointing the Mothlante Commission but will follow processes and formalities laid down in the law, his spokesperson, Mr George Charamba, has said.
Further, Mr Charamba said the Head of State and Government, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, does not require motivation from social media fanatics to do so.
The Commission of Inquiry was appointed by President Mnangagwa in terms of the Commissions of Inquiry Act to investigate the August 1 post-election violence that resulted in the death of six people and destruction of property worth millions of dollars.
Mr Charamba, who is also the Deputy Chief Secretary (Presidential Communications), stated the President’s position following a misreading of his intervention by twimbos on Monday when he explained that at law there was nothing that obligated President Mnangagwa to share the report with the public.
Mr Charamba further explained that there was also nothing to stop the President from making the report public if he so decides.
Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Mr Charamba said President Mnangagwa made the undertaking way before the constitution of the Commission of Inquiry and before the Commissioners were even identified.
“Zimbabweans must cool it and take it easy. There is no need for excitement. Let us avoid the feat of crossing the river when we are still at the summit of a hill,” said Mr Charamba.
“I sit in several meetings involving emissaries of foreign governments and, more particularly, involving the President and the UN Secretary- General. In all those meetings, the President made an undertaking that both processes and outcomes of the Commission will be an open affair. That was well before Commissioners had even been identified, certainly well before the Commission had been sworn in.
“He does not need any modicum of motivation by twimbos to do the right thing. It’s a decision which he took a long time ago well before the Commission was constituted. That decision and commitment does not trash processes and formalities of receiving and digesting the findings of the Commission. That was the gist of my intervention, all of which was conveyed in simple, comprehensible English.
“The current furore over the issue is doubly needless in that it misreads a simple communication from Government. Secondly, it elides time and processes.”
Mr Charamba said Government picked up some critical lessons from the debate raised over the matter.
“But every cloud has a silver lining. There is a lot be bought from this mighty storm in the teacup,” said Mr Charamba.
“It gave everyone a peep into national mind, particularly a predisposition to suspect the intentions of the Government no matter how unfounded. The big gain is that from it we have inadvertently built a huge momentum against post-election violence and we should as a people harness that to very good effect for future elections.
“Secondly, it appears there is more sharpened reading of the law. I read someone saying somewhere that the Commissions of Inquiry Act is a colonial relic. Well and good, let’s deal with that so that we update our laws. More critically, I read someone saying Section 62 of our Constitution which gives citizens right to information is, in fact, echoed by Section 5 of AIPPA. What this says then is that at long last and thanks to the Commission of Inquiry furore there is a new reading of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. What this says then is that at long last and thanks to the Commission of Inquiry furore there is a new reading of AIPPA and I hope the responsible ministry takes note.”