Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa (right) challenges the victory of Emmerson Mnangagwa (right) in the July election
HARARE – An unmoved President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday urged opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to face an investigation commission investigating the deadly August 1 shooting, which left at least six civilians dead in Harare.
Mnangagwa's warning came when Chamisa suggested on Thursday that he would not appear before the hearing – except Mnangagwa and his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, were also forced to testify before the murder.
Young opposition leaders have been asked to appear before the commission next week, following testimony from soldiers and police chiefs who suggested this week that a militant wing at MDC – Vanguard – was responsible for the August 1 shooting.
Mnangagwa spokesman, George Charamba, told the Daily News yesterday that Chamisa risked suffering serious consequences if he did not appear before the commission, because it had the same power as the state court.
"He must know that the commission has court power. Chamisa has to go and answer what the commission asks.
"What is the relationship between him and the president? He must appear on the power of the summons … and must behave like a lawyer, "Charamba boomed.
Overcoming a press conference in Harare on Thursday, Chamisa said the spirit of justice dictated that the investigation should also summon Mnangagwa and Chiwenga to appear before answering allegations that they had mobilized the military in the capital to quell the violence on August 1.
"If they have to be fair, what is good for the geese must be good for a short look. They must be able to invite Mnangagwa. They must be able to invite Chiwenga.
"That is why we have said there is ignorance in the commission because you cannot invite Mnangagwa so you report to him.
"Mnangagwa cannot investigate himself because he has been involved. We want to see if Mnangagwa is invited. If he is not invited, why should I go alone? "Chamisa asked rhetorically.
Things in the investigation heated up earlier this week after security chiefs released the military from the killings in their testimonies.
The Commander of the Defense Forces, Phillip Valerio Sibanda, and general police commissioner Godwin Matanga, also appeared to blame MDC and Chamisa for the death.
In an unpleasant commentary, Sibanda also said the military would immediately use the evidence to show that the army did not kill people on a decisive day – on the contrary, fingered clothes called Vanguard, which is a militant group linked to the MDC youth wing.
Matanga also told the commission that police had temporarily suspended plans to arrest Chamisa because of ongoing political talks aimed at giving the opposition leader the top position in Parliament.
This caused Chamisa to accuse Matanga of being used by the authorities to engineer his arrest – further questioning why the police chief would go into politics when his task was to enforce the law.
But Charamba denied that Mnangagwa tried to "blackmail" Chamisa in order to accept the legitimacy of PF leader Zanu – adding that Matanga's comments were not related to the investigation commission.
"Don't confuse two unrelated problems. There is an investigation commission that looks at what happened on August 1, and we also have the Republic of Zimbabwe Police (ZRP) whose job is to enforce the law.
"The commissioner (Matanga) may have his own reading, but as I said before, the president did not make an offer for Chamisa, but the government architecture.
"I think the police will not have political considerations before arresting someone. That's not what happens now, "Charamba said.
In a media briefing Thursday, Chamisa also said there were attempts to push him into an "evil alliance" with Mnangagwa, using crooked tools.
"If you see all the witnesses, no one has a problem with Chamisa except a few people in the State, who are working on written and written narratives with the choreography to try and say Chamisa must come.
"How Matanga talked about incitement and then said Chamisa had been given a position, and therefore we waited. Why should law enforcement be subject to some changes in political considerations?
"This shows you there is a problem to push me into forced regulation, into forced marriage, into rape. I want love not to rape.
"This is why I say we want to have dialogue in this country. We have told Mnangagwa this is a problem at the table. We are ready anytime to be involved, "Chamisa said later.
Mnangagwa pointed to the current murder investigation in September, to investigate the death of August 1, which tarnished the relatively peaceful July 30 general election that had been praised up to that point.
The seven-member commission was led by the former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe.
Other members of the team were Mademian Lovemore and Charity Manyeruke academics, former president of the Society of Zimbabwe Law (LSZ) Vimbai Nyemba, Rodney Dixon of the United Kingdom, former head of Tanzanian defense forces General Davis Mwamunyange and former secretary of the Commonwealth – Chief General Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria .
The assassination also posed a great danger to the hopes of Zimbabwe to recover from the reign of ousted former president Robert Mugabe for years.
The shooting came after millions of Zimbabweans voted in elections to elect a new Parliament and president – following the dramatic fall of Mugabe's rule last November.
The election was the first since 1980 to be held in the country without the participation of Mugabe, who was 37 years old, with his iron hand ended in military intervention which triggered an event which ended in his resignation.
The election also marked the first time that the MDC's main opposition was not represented by founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost a brave battle against colon cancer on Valentine's Day this year.
Political analysts also say the August 1 violence and the resulting deaths have undermined Mnangagwa's efforts to improve years of cold relations with Western governments. – Daily News