Commissions Watch Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence 25 Sept 2018 The Commission will have the same power as a magistrates court to summon witnesses and examine them on oath, and to require witnesses to produce documents in evidence. Witnesses who fail or refuse to attend after being summoned, or who give false evidence on oath, may be prosecuted. Generally witnesses will have to answer all questions put to them, though there are exceptions: for example, they will not be obliged to incriminate themselves [section 11(3) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act] and journalists will not have to disclose their sources of information [section 61(2) of the Constitution]. Publicity The proclamation allows the Commission to hold its inquiry “both in public, or privately, as the exigencies of the Inquiry may determine.” It is to be hoped that, in the interests of transparency, all evidence will be heard in public. Deadline The Commission is given three months to investigate the violence and deliver its written report and recommendations to the President. The deadline for the Commission to complete its work is therefore the 19th December. Publication of report In his proclamation the President has directed that the Commission’s report “shall be availed at the Conclusion of the Inquiry”. It is not clear what this means because even in Zimbabwean usage “avail” does not necessarily mean “publish”. It is to be hoped that the report will be published in full as soon as possible after the Commission has delivered it to the President. We have a sad history of “burying” sensitive reports – the reports of the Dumbutshena and Chihambakwe commissions spring to mind. In this case Zimbabwe’s international reputation and standing demand that the Commission’s report must be published, no matter what its conclusions may be. Commission’s proposed schedule On the 22nd September the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Motlanthe, announced that the Commission would be holding public hearings from mid-October. In the meantime he invited institutions and members of the public to send in written submissions to reach the Commission’s secretariat before the 12th October. Mr Motlanthe’s statement is on the Veritas website [link]. The Commission’s offices are situated at: Cresta Lodge Harare, Cnr Samora Machel Avenue East and Robert Mugabe Road, Harare

Select target paragraph3