High Court dismisses shooting victim’s challenge of Mnangagwa’s commission of inquiry

By Staff Writer

HIGH Court Judge Justice David Mangota on Wednesday 7 November 2018
dismissed an application filed by a relative of a shooting victim of
the August 2018 violence challenging the legality of President
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s executive decision to appoint the Commission of
Inquiry set up to probe the post-election violence including its
composition.

Allison Charles, whose brother Gavin Dean Charles was shot and killed
alongside other civilians in post-election violence on 1 August 2018,
had together with Counselling Services Unit (CSU) petitioned the High
Court challenging the legality of Mnangagwa’s executive decision to
appoint the Commission of Inquiry, its composition and its terms of
reference.

In the application filed by Chris Mhike of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights and argued by Advocate Eric Matinenga, Charles and CSU
contended that Mnangagwa’s decision on 29 August 2018 to appoint the
Commission of Inquiry was unconstitutional and that the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Commission or the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission
should be appointed to conduct investigations into the 1 August 2018
violence.

Charles and CSU also wanted Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission or the
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to be authorised to
appoint members of the Commission of Inquiry and to formulate the
commission’s terms of reference.

Charles and CSU also wanted the appointment of Professor Lovemore
Madhuku and Professor Charity Manyeruke to serve as Commissioners in
the Commission of Inquiry to be set aside on the basis that they are
biased in favour of government and the ruling ZANU PF party.

But Justice Mangota on Wednesday 7 November 2018 dismissed the
application after ruling that the Commission of Inquiry was legally
set up and that the conduct of the authority which constituted it is
above reproach.

Justice Mangota accused Charles and CSU of seeking to derail the work
of the Commission of Inquiry and also ruled that the appointment of
Professor Madhuku and Professor Manyeruke to serve as Commissioners
cannot be challenged.