August 1 killings Report: Use of live ammunition unjustified

Harare- President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday released the full report of the Kgalema Motlanthe commission of inquiry report into the August 1 post-election violence that killed 6 people and injured more than 30 people.

Reports from the inquiry indicated that the deployment of the army was justified as they were a reinforcement to the police.

“Police orders were not effectively carried out, the police was severely depleted because of duties and was ill equipped which sought Government assistance and the military was deployed in accordance with the law, there was compliance with the law.

“Commissioner General of the Police requested the Minister of Home Affairs for the deployment of the army because there was rapid escalation of the demonstrations. The deployment was justified and shootings could have been avoided if the police was experienced and adequate in numbers” said President Mnangagwa

According to the report the while deployment of the army was justified certain sections of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) were not followed.

“The deployment was avoidable and lawful if section of POSA were followed however, it was not followed because the army was not placed under the regulating authority.” he said.

Whilst admitting that the firing of live ammunition into the air was proportionate it was the firing of live ammunition on civilians that was unjustified.

“The firing of live ammunition by the police and army into the air was proportionate, the use of live ammunition was unjustified. The Commission also noted that 23 people who visited public hospitals were injured as a result of gunshots, one was assaulted and 11 did not visit the hospital” Mnangagwa said.

The report also noted that there was an existence of arms from other unauthorised people.

“The commission notes that there was existence of arms from people other than the army cannot be dismissed”

The report points out that the demonstrations were pre-planned and well-orchestrated and that utterances by political party leaders mainly the opposition MDC heightened tensions.

The report also noted that the Gukurahundi issue also came out and should be looked into.