President Emmerson Mnangagwa did not receive the report into the August 1 killings of protesters by soldiers yesterday as scheduled as the government and the panel investigating the violence gave contrasting reasons for the delay.
The commission of inquiry, led by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe, last Thursday indicated that it would hand over the final report to Mnangagwa on December 1, which was yesterday.
Journalists who wanted to witness the handover of the report, which the commission on Thursday had indicated was already being printed by Government Printers, were being referred to the Information ministry for clearance.
The ministry’s secretary, Nick Mangwana, confirmed that the report would be handed over to Mnangagwa, but said the event would not be open to the media.
“The secretariat has advised us that it is not a media event,” he said.
However, later in the day Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs secretary Virginia Mabhiza told The Standard that the report would be handed over to the president by December 19.
“We are not handing in the report today,” she said, “What we only did was to provide a summary of the report to the president while the complete detailed report was being worked on.
“We are confident that we will hand in the full report by the 19th of December, 2018.
“Yes, the report is somehow complete. We are just fine-tuning it for handover to the president.”
the Motlanthe commission’s spokesperson John Masuku last night said the report was “still being polished”.
Six civilians were killed when soldiers opened fire on people that were protesting against the alleged delay in the release of the presidential election results.
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, who is accused of inciting the protesters, told the commission last week that his party did not sanction a demonstration on that day.
The opposition leader said then Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu telephoned him in the presence of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga as the protests raged and proposed dialogue.
Mpofu denied the allegations and instead claimed that Chamisa had conceded defeat during the telephone conversation that he allegedly recorded.