We 'll prosecute shooting culprits: Attorney General

by Tawanda Musariri

The Attorney General of Zimbabwe has told the Commission of Inquiry into the August post election violence that Government will prosecute culprits of the incidents which resulted in the death of six people.

Advocate Machaya cleared the air over an earlier pronouncement by High Court Judge Justice David Mangota claiming the Defence Minister had deployed soldiers on August 1. He dismissed the pronouncements as being fed by speculation than by a fact at law.

"One of the conclusions the judge came to was that the Minister of defence was the one who had authorised the deployment of the defence forces on 1 August. My reading of it is that neither the applicant nor the respondent had placed that evidence in court and therefore the judge or the court reached the conclusion merely from perusing the provisions of the Public Order and Security Act Section 37. That conclusion was not based on facts before the court," said Adv Machaya.

In his interpretation, Adv Machaya has poured cold water on the claims made by Justice Mangota, giving effect to the continued hunt for the persons that opened fire on civilians on the street.

Pursuant to his interpretation, the Attorney General admitted that indeed Government has an intention to prosecute whoever shot and killed the six on the street on the fateful day. Meanwhile, the hunt for the culprits is still on.

Despite accusations, the military has stood its ground denying any wrongdoing, claiming that the only fired bullets were fired into the air, with the intention to scare away protestors, a goal which was achieved in less than thirty minutes, said the military.

The denial by the military leaves the Commission with extra work to do; finding the real culprit who shot the fatal bullets. This would help in reaching useful recommendations to the President.