PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has promoted to the rank of Major-General Presidential Guard commander Brigadier-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe, the man who commanded the military unit that reportedly shot at unarmed protesters, killing at least six civilians on August 1 as post-election violence rocked the capital.
The army was called in after police had reportedly been overwhelmed by protesters over the delayed release of the presidential election results held two days earlier.
As the situation deteriorated, the soldiers were reportedly forced to use deadly force, killing six protesters.
Sanyatwe, who was commander of the crack Presidential Guard elite unit, was key in the coup that brought to an end former President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year-rule in November last year.
In a short citation seen by NewsDay, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Philip Valerio Sibanda said he had seen it fit to recommend Sanyatwe and commander Military Intelligence Department Brigadier General Thomas Moyo’s promotions to higher ranks.
“In terms of Section 15 (1) (b) (2) of the Defence Act Chapter 11:02, His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (Emmerson Mnangagwa) may promote or temporarily appoint an officer to a higher rank.
“The Commander Defence Forces considered potential brigadier-generals suitable for promotion to the rank of major-general. His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces consented and consequently was pleased to promote you, Brigadier-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe to the substantive rank of major-general with effect from December 8, 2018,” the citation read.
Moyo was also elevated to major general.
Mnangagwa has also made key appointments within the police command as he moves to set up his own security structure that reflects his vision and the direction he wants to take the country.
A commission of inquiry set up by Mnangagwa to investigate the August 1 shootings has already produced a report that the President could make public this week.
Sanyatwe appeared before the commission of inquiry chaired by former South Africa President Kgalema Motlanthe and denied the military’s culpability in the killings, instead pointing to a “third force” and implying the opposition MDC, blamed for instigating the protests, harbours an armed section among its youth assembly.
Meanwhile, civil society activist Paddington Japajapa, who stands accused of inciting the political violence which rocked the capital on August 1, leading to the fatal shootings, was yesterday removed from remand for the second time after a State witness failed to come to court.
Japajapa, who is being charged with contravening section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23, through incitement to commit public violence, was freed by Harare magistrate Edwin Marecha.
The State had asked for a postponement of the matter, saying the witness had other commitments, but the magistrate ruled that the State would have to pursue the matter by way of summons if it so wishes.
Japajapa was represented by Simon Simango.
The State alleges that on July 31, Japajapa addressed a Press conference at a time the July 30 election results were being announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and threatened to call for chaos, claiming the elections had been rigged.
Caroline Mutimusakwa appeared for the State.