Post Zim election violence: 'Mnangagwa deployed killer soldiers,' says ex-police minister

2018-11-29 11:29
Two Zimbabwean soldiers wearing balaclavas shout orders to street vendors and money changers in the Copacabana market in Harare. (File: AFP)

Two Zimbabwean soldiers wearing balaclavas shout orders to street vendors and money changers in the Copacabana market in Harare. (File: AFP)

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Zimbabwe's former home affairs minister Obert Mpofu reportedly told the Kgalema Motlanthe commission investigating the post-election violence of August 1 that President Emmerson Mnangagwa deployed the soldiers who allegedly killed six people in Harare.

According to NewsDay, Mpofu told the commission that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Nelson Chamisa confided in him that he knew that he lost at the polls, and unknown "elements" had planted snipers on top of buildings in the capital to shoot at civilians in a bid to tarnish the image of government.

Mpofu said he recorded the telephone conversation with Chamisa, and would make it available to expose the opposition leader's lies.

He said the opposition supporters who protested the delay of the election results appeared sober, but they then turned violent, prompting the police to call for military back up.

Mpofu maintained that all constitutional requirements regarding the deployment of troops were followed.

"We sought permission, I wrote to my counterpart, my colleague, about what we were requesting and that process went up to the principal, and a report back was given by government to pursue with what the police had requested, and that was done. I think there is a record trail to that effect," Mpofu was quoted as saying.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, Mpofu blamed the MDC for the deadly post election violence, adding that the unidentified snippers who were placed on building rooftops in the capital shot at the unarmed protesters.

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Mpofu’s remarks came a day after Chamisa had told the commission that his party was not a perpetrator but rather a victim of state-sponsored violence.

Chamisa denied that his party sanctioned demonstrations on August 1 and rebuked the detaining of several opposition supporters and officials in connection with the protests, AFP reported.

"The people who were arrested were not demonstrators. They were members of staff who were doing parallel voter result tabulation,"Chamisa said.

The MDC leader called for Mnangagwa to appear before the commission of inquiry, as he was said  to have deployed soldiers onto the streets on the fateful day.

Mnangagwa succeeded long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in November 2017 following a brief military takeover.

Several witnesses, including relatives of the deceased, army and police commanders have given their testimonies.

Read more on:    mdc  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  nelson chamisa  |  obert mpofu  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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