Local journalist Maynard Manyowa has said his family is receiving death threats following his appearance before the Motlanthe Commission of inquiry into the August 1 incident which saw soldiers using live ammunition against protesters.
Six civilians were shot and killed by alleged members of the Zimbabwe National Army who were deployed in central Harare on the fateful day to help quell wild protests by opposition supporters who disgruntled with the slow pace of election results announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Manyowa in his testimony before the commission had exonerated the Army and this did not go down well with some sections of the public who opposed his narrative.He claims that he has been “viciously” attacked via social media and also “threatened in person including his two wives, children and employees right from the time he was testifying live on ZBC television and other online streaming media”.
Manyowa further claimed images of his property have also been exposed on various social media platforms with threats of causing physical harm and death to him, his family and employees.
A spokesperson for the Commision of Enquiry John Masuku had this to say on the matter:
The Commission of Inquiry has received with concern a statement by Mr Maynard Kudakwashe Manyowa who testified before it on Thursday 22 November 2018 alleging that he was viciously attacked on Social Media and also threatened in person including his two wives, children and employees right from the time he was testifying live on ZBC television and other online streaming media.
In his statement, Mr Manyowa also alleges that pictures of his property have been exposed on various Social Media accounts with threats of causing physical harm and death to him, his family and employees. Mr Manyowa has since reported his case to the police. The Commission, therefore, implores the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other law enforcement agents to urgently and fully investigate Mr Manyowa’s allegations and bring to book all perpetrators of verbal and physical violence or abuse who cause harm, despondency and discouragement to citizens who have freely testified before it.
The Commission reiterates that it is fully committed to protecting all citizens who appear before it, through law enforcement agents.
The Commission is also disturbed by people who attack and denigrate the integrity, professional ability and reputation of some Commissioners and the prerogative of the appointing authority who is the Head of State and Government. It should be borne in mind that His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa saw it fit to appoint the current Commissioners to carry out this national task in terms of the laws of the land.
Infact, the courts have since made a judgement in favour of their unperturbed continuation of duty with the right to ask questions without any threats or hindrance. Finally, the Commission urges all citizens who attend public hearings to give the opportunity to all those giving testimonies without interjections, heckling and demeaning. On behalf of the Commission we thank you very much for your support.