The Zimbabwe African People`s Union (ZAPU) has petitioned the state to drop charges against wisdom Mkhwananzi who was arrested after claiming President Emmerson Mnangagwa had a hand in the death of his parents during the Gukurahundi massacres.
Mkhwananzi made the claim while testifying before the Kgalema Motlanthe-led commission into the death of six people killed during the post-election skirmishes in Harare on August 1.
“We demand immediate release and dropping of all frivolous charges against the arrested witnesses unless Mnangagwa is able to deny his involvement in Gukurahundi,” the party`s secretary for administration, Thembinkosi Thwala demanded.
The Dumiso Dabengwa-led party said the arrest is indicative of what was happening during Gukurahundi.
“The Friday arrest of witnesses appearing before a constitutional commission, itself a judicial body is not only unlawful but reminiscent of the Gukurahundi days where the CIO, police and army led the way when tens of thousands were killed at the behest of Mnangagwa as state security minister,” said Thwala
Thwala added that if the case against Mkhwananzi continues, Mnangagwa should dispute his involvement in the genocide.
“We also remind him he was the one who announced the arrest and detention of Dumiso Dabengwa, Lookout Masuku and others soon after their acquittal by the courts.”
“Let Mnangagwa dispute these or let Mkhwananzi and other arrested witnesses walk,” he said.
Thwala said ZAPU was also worried by the blatant disregard of the laws that provide immunity to witnesses appearing before a constitutional commission.
“We would like to know the status of the Montlante Commission regarding the law,” he said.
He said the coming of the Motlanthe Commission to Bulawayo was to instil fear in people of Matabeleland prior to Gukurahundi hearings.
“The coming to Bulawayo of the Montlante Commission was meant to instil fear in the hearts of Matabeleland people before the onset of hearings on Gukurahundi by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission,” said Thwala.
He said Mnangagwa should personally grant the immunity from prosecution for the witnesses who will testify during the Gukurahundi hearings.
“ZAPU demands assurance from the Mnangagwa led government, itself the perpetrator of Gukurahundi, that people who will appear before the NPRC will enjoy their constitutionally provided rights in full including immunity from prosecution and persecution for volunteering evidence,” he said.
Mkhwananzi was granted $200 bail by Bulawayo Magistrate, Rachel Mukanga on Monday and is set to appear in court on 13 November 2018.