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'Mnangagwa Not Obliged to Release Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry Report'

FILE: Protesters are seen running from members of the army, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 7, 2018. On Tuesday, embassies of the European Union, the U.S., Canada and Switzerland in Harare issued a statement expressing concern over “excessive use of force" by Zimbabwe.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba says President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not obliged to release a report expected to be submitted by the Kgalema Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry into the killing of at least six people in Harare in August this year.

Charamba told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that Mnangagwa, who commissioned the commission of inquiry, is protected by the law not to make the report public.

In an interview with the daily newspaper, Charamba said, “There is nothing at law that compels the President to release the report to the public or not to release it to the public. The discretion is his. Where he has a bit of a limit is in respect of how the Commission conducts its hearings in terms of the law.

He further said Mnangagwa was even required by the law to conduct the hearings in camera but decided to make them public in the interest of openness and transparency.

Charamba also dismissed reports that Mnangagwa has received the details report containing the commission’s findings and recommendations.

“There are certain things that don’t make sense in terms of the way this matter has been handled and reported. Firstly, neither the executive summary nor the main report has been released. In other words, neither document is in the public domain, yet reading reports that are in the media one gets the sense that the executive summary or the main report has been released.”

His remarks were echoed by the Commission’s spokesperson John Masuku who told VOA Studio 7 that they are busy compiling a detailed report on their findings and recommendations.

Many agitated Zimbabweans, especially on social media, are claiming that Mnangagwa is now “doctoring” the final report after allegedly submitting it to the president.

The Commission initially promised last week that Mnangagwa will get the document on Saturday but later said they have up to December 19th to submit it.

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