August 1 shootings: Army Should Accept Responsibility

By Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition| The Crisis is Zimbabwe Coalition is perturbed by the misleading evidence presented by top army and police officers (on November 11, 2018) before the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1, 2018 shootings.

For the army top officials to admit that they deployed soldiers but later on claim that opposition activists or business people in Harare’s Central Business District were responsible for the shooting of seven civilians is very much regrettable and confirms that Zimbabwe remains stuck in the dark past.

It is foolhardy to believe sentiments from top army officials that a video of a kneeling soldier firing into the crowds portrays him firing warning shots into the air.

As CIZC, we maintain that truth telling processes require sincerity and denialism perpetuates a fractured society. We have also noticed conflicting statements from the police and army top brass with a senior police officer seemingly blaming the army for the shootings.

We note an apparent attempt to blame the opposition, business and ordinary citizens for the shootings and this will likely lead to a witch-hunt that will see continued persecution of hundreds of activists that were arrested in the aftermath of the 01 August killings on false charges.

The stance by the army and police confirms why Zimbabwe has a lot of unresolved cases involving the murder of civilians dating back to the Gukurahundi massacres which resulted in the deaths of more than 20 000 civilians at the hands of the Fifth Brigade.

We have said before, and will say it again, our men and women in uniform should serve the country with honour and distinction. They should be loyal to the constitution and oath of service. This requires the upholding of ethics and discharging duties with dedication and distinction. The regrettable events of the 1st of August have shown the world how force, without measure and regulation can lead to lose of precious lives.

Based on the video evidence, any professional body, of integrity is suppose to take a stand and accept responsibility for the commission of such heinous deeds rather than opting for the easy option of scapegoating.

As CIZC we have already engaged SADC on the continued involvement of the army in politics which poses a security threat in the country. We shall continue to lobby regional, continental and international partners to intervene in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis.

 

 

 

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