Zimbabwe’s army used undue force, Kgalema Motlanthe says in report

Kgalema Motlanthe.
Kgalema Motlanthe.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

A report by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe into post-election violence in Zimbabwe has found that the country's military used excessive force against protesters. 

Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa released the report from a commission of inquiry, chaired by Motlanthe, on Tuesday. 

Six people were killed on August 1 after a military crackdown on protesters that took to the streets of Harare as tensions mounted over alleged delays in release of poll results.  

Mnangagwa, reading from the report to journalists in Harare, said the firing of live ammunition at unarmed civilians was “unjustified”, adding there had been disproportionate use of force. 

"There was compliance with the relevant law as evidenced by the trail of communication between the relevant government authorities. However, the use of live ammunition directed at people especially when they were fleeing was clearly unjustified and disproportionate," he said.

The report found that use of sjamboks, batons and rifle butts to assault members of the public indiscriminately was also disproportionate.

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