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Coup ghost haunts 1 August killings inquest

by Mandla Ndlovu
13 Nov 2018 at 08:56hrs | Views
The Kgalema Motlanthe led Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election violence that left six civilians dead is battling to find out who issued the instruction for the soldiers to join the police in a bid to stop rioters.

Testifying on Monday before the Commission, Zimbabwe Defense Forces Philip Valerio Sibanda failed to produce a letter from the Commander in Chief authorising the deployment of the army or even to authoritatively confirm that such an instruction came from the Commander in Chief Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Said Sibanda, the four letters are before the commission include a letter from the then Minister of Defense Constantino Chiwenga seeking permission from the President to deploy the army. What is not there is the letter from the President. I presume the authorisation was verbal .

To clearly understand Sibanda's statements we must read them together with the Justice David Mangota s High Court judgement that said Chiwenga dispatched members of the defence forces to work under the command of the regulating of the district in Harare and the President Mnangagwa was not involved in the deployment.

This cements the belief that 1 August was a repeat of November 15 when the soldiers self-deployed themselves and effected a coup that ended Robert Mugabe s 37 years of repressive rule.

Ndodana Moyo who leads the Southern Stars Foundation explained more on what can be read from the situation at hand.

"When we read the judgement by Justice Mnagota and listen to the statements by PV Sibanda, we are bound to see there is something amiss here. Judge says Mnangagwa was not involved and Sibanda says he assumes the President gave a verbal clearance because at law he is the sole authority.

"The ghost of the coup is coming to haunt this inquiry. This is evident through the hide and seek approach that is being played. It is possible that since the army sees itself as having a umbilical chord with ZANU PF, these soldiers self-deployed in defense of the political wing ZANU PF whose building was under siege from protesters.
The other thing you must put into perspective when reading these issues is Jonathan Moyo s interview with Alex Magaisa over the weekend. Moyo says Chiwenga, Mnangagwa and Mugabe were the brains behind the removal of Joice Mujuru and parachuting of Grace Mugabe. This shows you the kind of involvement of the army in politics to defend their own agenda.

"What we should pray and hope for is for the commission to subpoena the President and the Vice President so that they give clarity on who gave the command for the soldiers to go to the streets."



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