Motlanthe Commission Recommendations: ED In Catch-22 Situation

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is in a catch-22 situation over whether to implement recommendations of the commission of inquiry into the August 1 post-election violence, which urged him to engage opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to move the country forward.

But going against his Zanu PF party, which has no interest of engaging in the talks seen as crucial to reviving the country’s faltering economy, is an elephant in the room.

Highly-placed sources in both government and Zanu PF told NewsDay that Mnangagwa was now in a fix after promising to implement recommendations of the commission, which was chaired by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, which the Zimbabwean leader set up after members of the military and police killed six civilians during the protests, according to the commission’s report.

Zimbabwe held elections on July 30 last year to replace long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, seen as crucial to reopening the country to international re-engagement.

The poll, however, exposed deep polarisation that culminated in the post-election protests.
With the economy on a downward spiral characterised by shortages of cash, fuel, frequent price increases and rising inflation, the commission and the international community urged dialogue between Mnangagwa and his main rival, Chamisa.

A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were a number of sticky recommendations that Mnangagwa would find difficult to implement, chief among them bringing to book soldiers who shot and killed the six civilians and sitting down for talks with Chamisa.

“During the December Zanu PF annual conference in Esigodini, it was made clear that the ruling party would not sit down with Chamisa for any talks because he had disrespected Vice-President Constatino Chiwenga,” the source said.

“Hardliners in the party want the President to respect that position. But remember, Mnangagwa promised to implement the Motlanthe commission recommendations and the international community will be watching.”

Part of the commission’s recommendations read: “The commission recommends the establishment of a multi-party reconciliation initiative, including youth representatives, with national and international mediation to address the root causes of the post-election violence and to identify and implement strategies for reducing tensions, promoting common understandings of political campaigning, combating criminality, and uplifting communities.”


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