Inquiry rejects Chamisa’s demands 

Source: Inquiry rejects Chamisa’s demands – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      25 November 2018

HARARE – The Commission of Inquiry probing the politically-motivated
violence of August 1 has turned down a request by opposition leader Nelson
Chamisa to cross-examine witnesses who testified against him, the Daily
News on Sunday can report.

Chamisa wrote to the commission last week asking for an opportunity to
question witnesses who blamed him for the violence that resulted in the
loss of six lives.
In his letter for commission chair, former South African president Kgalema
Motlanthe, the MDC leader also demanded access to information implicating
him to the violence.

But in his response, Motlanthe said the issue of quizzing witnesses who
appeared before them does not arise since the commission was not a court
of law.

“The invitation is simply to hear you in connection with the allegations
made against you to the effect that during the period before and after
elections you made statements inciting violence.

“The commission is not a court of law and as such the issue of
cross-examination does not arise and none of the witnesses has been
subjected to cross-examination,” said Motlanthe in his response to
Chamisa.

According to the commission, Chamisa is due to appear before the inquiry
tomorrow to give his side of the story.

In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday yesterday, the party’s
spokesperson Jacob Mafume appeared to confirm his boss’ attendance.

Mafume said: “We had a dialogue with the commission and will continue
dialoguing. As of now, the position is that the president is agreeable to
testify.”

Chamisa had previously gone on record, refusing to appear before the
commission, saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa should not have appointed
a commission to inquire into his own conduct as he was responsible for the
deployment of the defence forces – according to the Constitution.

He further demanded that Mnangagwa also testifies before the commission.

But on November 14, Motlanthe wrote to Chamisa inviting him to appear
before the commission.

It was at that point that the MDC leader made a volte-face in his response
dated November 16, 2018, saying notwithstanding his misgivings he “would
like to take your invitation seriously and give it the due weight it
deserves”.

He said the basis of the invitation appeared to emanate from testimony and
allegations made by a witness to the effect that he incited violence.

“I consider the allegation to be malicious. Since my response to this
contrived allegation is required, I consider it `fair and just’ that I
should be afforded all the relevant information relating to the
allegations so as to enable me to prepare adequately,” he wrote.

“I kindly therefore ask the commission to favour me with the full
transcript of the relevant part of the testimony; to better understand the
nature, circumstances, scope and credibility of the allegations made
against me. This would enable me to form an informed opinion regarding the
invitation.

“Further, and in the interest of due process and my natural and
constitutional rights, would I stand assured that an opportunity to
cross-examine the witness who `mentioned (my name) as among those who
played a part in inciting the violence of 1 August 2018′ will be availed,
since the sole basis of my invitation is his, her or their testimony?,”
said Chamisa.

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