Tendai Mugabe, Harare Bureau
The European Union and the United States of America have called for a wider remit of investigation to the disturbances that rocked Harare on Wednesday last week that saw the death of six people, saying allegations of violence and vandalism that occurred on the day should be fully probed.
They said perpetrators of the violence should be held accountable in terms of the law.
In a joint statement, the European Union Delegation, Canada, Switzerland and the United States of America welcomed the decision by President Mnangagwa to set up an independent commission to investigate the matter.
MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa is on record inciting violence at his rallies during the run up to the elections and most of the activists arrested so far in connection with the violence that rocked Harare are known members of his party.
In the statement, the EU, Canada, Switzerland and the US said: “All allegations of the incitement of violence or violent acts, as well as vandalism and destruction of property, should be investigated in accordance with the rule of law and perpetrators held legally responsible.
“The Heads of Mission welcome the President’s commitment to establish an independent commission to investigate the violence against civilians and look forward to the commission starting its work as soon as possible and reporting its findings in a transparent manner.”
The EU and the US also urged the Government to respect human rights and expressed condolences to the families of the people who lost their relatives in that unfortunate incident.
The Australian embassy in Harare also issued a statement saying: “Australia notes the strong desire of the people of Zimbabwe to move their country forward, as seen by their enthusiastic and largely peaceful participation in the historic elections.
“In this context, it was all the more tragic to see violence and unruly behaviour and excessive use of force by security forces, on August 1. Reports of further violence and human rights violations are also deeply concerning. We note the increased openness of the 2018 elections.
“We urge that this be built on through increased transparency and accountability in the interest of achieving justice for victims, resolving disputes peacefully through legal channels and repairing trust.”
Last week, President Mnangagwa said the MDC-Alliance leadership should be held responsible for any loss of life and damage to property that occurred.
Mr Chamisa on several occasions posted messages on social media, saying he would not accept any result in which he was not the winner.
“We hold the opposition MDC-Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace, which was meant to disrupt the electoral process,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Equally, we hold the party and its leadership responsible for any loss of life, injury or damage to property that arise from these acts of political violence which they have aided and abetted.
President Mnangagwa said in any electoral process, there were winners and losers, and people should learn to accept the outcome of such processes.
“In any electoral process, it is understood that some win while others lose,” he said. “But those who lose should never translate their disappointment into hooliganism.”