Soldiers bash protesters on 1 August 2018 in Harare

Perpetrators of 1 August killings must face justice: MDC Alliance


The MDC-Alliance takes note with concern the reluctance, incapacity and unwillingness of the Mnangagwa regime to fully and transparently redress the August 1, 2018 violations.

The regime has a long human rights abuse track record which includes Gukurahundi of the 1980s and the 2008 electoral violence. The regime has never committed itself to an open process of redress of these dark episodes of our nation’s history.

The regime is conflicted, incapacitated and lacks political will to compensate the families of those killed on August 1, 2018 because it fears that the principle of liability of superior authorities who failed to prevent extrajudicial executions which is recognized in the UN Principles on Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions will expose their Executive to possible persecution in international courts in the future.

They are afraid of justice. Even though the authorities may have refused to acknowledge responsibility for these killings, the payment of damages will amount to an admission of responsibility and can be used to obtain justice.

The failure to redress the August 1 atrocities in Zimbabwe is worsened by the fact that it is happening in an already fragile political situation stemming from Mr Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy born out of the disputed and unresolved electoral outcome of 2018. It is also happening in an economic environment where misappropriation of taxpayers’ money and corruption is rife.

Misplaced priorities have seen Mr Mnangagwa buying vehicles for POLAD principals instead of using such funds to redress past atrocities in ways that can engender peace and foster real and meaningful dialogue.

The regime must make a public declaration of responsibility for these killings committed by officials under their hierarchical authority by implementing the Motlanthe Commission recommendations to compensate the families and provide for those whose welfare was directly affected.

The continued failure to fulfil these recommendations is an indication that the Motlanthe Commission may have been unsuccessful in redressing these atrocities and there may be need to start a new thorough, transparent and effective process on the August 1 violations in pursuit of justice.

Issued By:

Maureen Kademaunga Secretary for Social Welfare

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