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Zimbabwe post-election violence decried as 'disproportionate and unjustified'

Zimbabwe's post-election violence, following the victory of Emmerson Mnangagwa, which included the use of live bullets, has been criticised as "disproportionate and unjustified" by an investigation launched by the government. 

The investigation, headed by the former South African President, Kgalema Motlante noted the “deaths of these six people and injuries sustained by the 35 others arose from the actions of the military and the police”. 

The inquiry noted the excessive use of military force ranged from whips and rifle butts against protestors to the direct fire of ammunition, and urged that those responsible for breaking from the line of command be held accountable. There have been no arrests to date. 

The inquiry determined though the deployment of the military was legal, troops should have been under police command.

The inquiry further alleges that opposition leaders of MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) were involved in escalating tensions and pre-planning protests which enabled this violence. The MDC has denied these allegations. 

Jacob Mafume, a spokesman for MDC told reporters, “our view is that they are trying to whitewash the August 1 event by making a false equivalence between the demonstrators and those who were shooting unarmed protesters using bullets and guns”.

President Mnangagwa told reporters that he would decide on the appropriate steps to take after studying the report. 

Mnangagwa is the first elected head of state since the departure of Robert Mugabe last year.