August 1 Shootings A Far Cry From Mugabe Era: Mutodi

Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi has defended his Twitter post in which he defended President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s human rights violations while attacking his predecessor Robert Mugabe for committing worse atrocities.

Mugabe attacked Mnangagwa over the recent military crackdown on civilians that ultimately left more than a dozen people dead after armed soldiers were unleashed on innocent protesters.

In an exclusive interview today, Mutodi insisted that Mugabe’s human rights record was far worse than his successor.

“We had the August 1 violence and there were only 6 or so reported deaths. A commission of inquiry had its findings on those deaths and even if we were to say those deaths were to be blamed on the police that still is a far cry from what we witnessed during the Mugabe era.

“We still have many who disappeared during his rule and have not been accounted for. We had the worst human rights record during his rule. Wherever and whenever people take to the streets to protests especially in a violent manner, deaths are inevitable because police use minimum force to apprehend criminals who take advantage of the riots to loot shops, destroy property and engage in acts of arson,” Mutodi said.

On his 95th birthday party at his residence in Borrowdale’s Blue roof last week, Mugabe fired venom on his successor over the recent killings charging that Mnangagwa needed to know that he will not be in power for ever and should treat citizens with respect.

He condemned the deployment of the military into civilian matters.

This prompted Mutodi to jump to Mnangagwa’s defense, saying people who have recently died at the hands of the police are fewer than those who died during the Gukurahundi atrocities.

“We have noted some words of repentance by former President Mugabe saying army must protect not kill. True that a few have lost lives in running battles with the police but that cannot compare with gukurahundi or the 2008 violence when he was at the helm,” Mutodi wrote on his micro blog Twitter account yesterday.

Human rights defenders and activist fumed at Mutodi’s post questioning the rationale behind his defense of people’s killings on two occasions; 1 August 2018 and mid-January 2019.

MDC Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora questioned the rationality of the killings and Mutodi’s defence of rights abuses.

“Saka sahwira uri kuti iwe imi muri nani nokuti makauraya vashoma?” Douglas Mwonzora asked.

Deputy Treasury Charlton Hwende questioned Mutodi on whether there was now competition on who killed more than the other.

“Saka murikuita competition yekutiuraya here musadaro so,” Hwende said.

Opposition Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA) described Mutodi’s post as unbelievable.

“Are you really going to act naive about who Mugabe’s henchman was? Are you that ignorant or do you think the people are stupid? Get a grip,” BZA wrote on Twitter.

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