from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWEAN authorities have been urged to hold accountable any soldiers involved in the fatal shooting of six civilians during post-election demonstrations exactly a year ago.
The army used live ammunition to disperse the protests in the capital Harare after delays in the release of the presidential election results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
It emerged some citizens were caught in the crossfire and were not part of the strike action.
Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa, said the fact that no one in the army suspected to be responsible for the bloodshed had been held to account for these killings worsened matters.
“This is despite the fact that the alleged perpetrators have been identified through the media and social media videos and pictures,” Mwananyanda said.
The activist said authorities must institute investigations into the killings of protesters, some of whom were killed while fleeing.
“Those found to have acted unlawfully must be brought to justice through fair trials.”
ZEC declared incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner of the presidential election ahead of opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.
He latter constituted a commission of inquiry to probe the tragedy.
Former South African president, Kgalema Motlanthe, headed the commission that found soldiers to have used undue force. The commission blamed the opposition Movement for Democratic Change for inciting violence.
Human rights groups documented the killing of at least 12 civilians by the security forces in January this year during protests over a 130 percent increase in fuel prices.
– CAJ News