by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has pledged to investigate reports some civilians were abused or killed during the ouster of longtime leader Robert Mugabe late last year.
The pledge follows allegations by deposed Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Jonathan Moyo, who claims the so-called “Operation Restore Legacy” led by the military was bloodless.
Moyo was one of the alleged “criminals” the military said was causing instability within government and the ruling ZANU-PF party during Mugabe’s final days in office.
Moyo is former minister of higher education and technology for Zimbabwe before fleeing the country when targeted by the military for alleged divisive utterances in both government and ruling ZANU PF.
The ousted minister alleged Central Intelligence Officer (CIO) operative Peter Munetsi, was among those brutally killed during the operation that paved way for Emmerson Mnangagwa to success Mugabe.
Catherine Manjengwa, an official with the rights commission, said Moyo’s allegations would be probed if formally reported.
The allegations have been made on social media.
“For us to investigate any case of human rights abuse we need whistle blowers who give us some detail which we will rely on during investigations,” Manjengwa said.
“Our mandate is to investigate all cases of human rights abuses in the country including those that happened during the transitional period. So far we believe no one was killed during the transitional period because no one came forward to the commission to file a report which is normally the basis for us to institute investigations,” added Manjengwa.
Manjengwa urged Moyo to make a formal report.
She added, “We do not rely on cases reported in the media (social media) but we work on cases that are reported to us and as such we are saying Jonathan Moyo and even relatives of the deceased should just report to us any case of human rights abuses during operation restore legacy.”
“To us, during the transitional period no one was killed as claimed by Moyo but we are not disputing that several people could have been abused during this period and their rights violated.”
Moyo, the publicist of a ZANU-PF faction that lined former First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband, also claimed there were cases of torture, rape and theft during the transitional period after Mugabe was forced to resign after over 37 years in power.
“Where is Peter Munetsi? Mnangagwa and Chiwenga should answer,” Moyo wrote on his twitter account.
“He was killed during the November 15 coup and many others were killed while dozens were displaced,” claimed Moyo.
Moyo also alleged he survived an assassination attempt alongside then finance minister, Ignatius Chombo, local government and public works minister, Saviour Kasukuwere and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao, who was minister of public service, labour and social welfare during the skirmishes.
– CAJ News