Private media was barred from covering the first public hearing by the Commission which was held today at Cresta Lodge in the morning.

Upon arrival at Cresta Lodge, the private media were restricted from covering the procedure and were told that only ZBC was allowed to film. It is believed that Journalists had an altercation with the Justice Ministry Officials over this matter. This matter also failed to commence in the morning as planned because they were only 45 seats which failed to accommodate everyone present.

Motlanthe apologised to the media

Private media were allowed to get in after lunch only to receive an apology from Motlanthe who said they were resolving an internal issue. He also reversed their decision that only ZBC was allowed to film. This means that they missed part of the event. MISA, however, issued a statement concerning this matter condemning this unconstitutional act displayed by the Commission.

Commission fails to abide by the constitution

This investigation is supposed to be public-oriented or else the public may lose confidence and decide to ditch them and stop participating. “it is considered view of MISA Zimbabwe that the action by the commission runs against the grain of section 61 and 62 of the constitution that provides for freedom of expression and the access to media respectively,” the statement read.

Commission of inquiry promotes media polarisation

According to the MISA statement, the stunt taken by the Commission of inquiry heightens levels of polarization which is already a major issue in Zimbabwe. The credibility of this commission can be therefore questioned after such an act. Having been enlightened about the importance of this investigation, the commission is supposed to bear in mind that families who lost their loved ones during the 1 August shootings may find closure but only from the truth. The findings of the commission will have a bearing on the commission itself and the one who appointed them and they should consider that the whole nation needs the fog to be cleared.