The Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of pulling a publicity stunt by bringing to Bulawayo the commission of inquiry hearing into the post-election violence that led to the death of at least six civilians in Harare on August 1.

The inquiry was, however, characterised by violence which saw about four activists from Mthwakazi Republic Party being arrested as riot police had to be called to quell the violent clashes.

The seven-member committee, led by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe was in the second largest city after holding their maiden hearing in the capital.

Mnangagwa appointed the commission to investigate the disturbances that led to the killing of six Zimbabweans by the Zimbabwe National Army.

“Zapu notes with utter disgust the public relations stunt that Mnangagwa is trying to pull concerning the killings of protesters by the State on August 1 in Harare,” Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said.

“The public relations stunt, disguised as a commission of inquiry has, however, backfired on Mnangagwa as he sent his highly questionable group of seven public relations mercenaries to Bulawayo to enquire about killings he himself ordered as according to the Zimbabwean Constitution,” he said.

Maphosa said the trip by the commission to Bulawayo was purely a waste of time and resources.

“The country certainly did not need to waste scarce resources on a commission of inquiry into a criminal act, but we, of course, have a question of image and legitimacy to address and Mnangagwa has sadly taken this as opportunity to clean himself before the international community,” he said.

Zapu questioned Mnangagwa’s authority regarding his control over the army.

“The Constitution clearly mandates only the president, who is the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, to deploy the military for any purpose. Zapu is, however, left wondering as to whether or not Mnangagwa is in charge.

“The mere fact that he constitutes a commission of enquiry into actions and functions of his office points to a house on fire in as much as the Zimbabwean government is concerned,” he said.

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