Understanding the Commission of Inquiry Act

Understanding the Commission of Inquiry Act
Published: 05 December 2018 (356 Views)
Over the past two days, the Presidential Spokesperson, George Charamba has come under immense criticism after being quoted in The Herald of 3 December 2018, saying the August 1 Commission of Inquiry report is meant for President Mnangagwa's eyes only.

Charamba, who doubles as the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and presidential spokesperson faced the wrath of staunch Government critics including the UK based lawyer, Dr Alex Magaisa, self-exiled former Government Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, and International lawyer, Dr Thompson Chengeta, who were quick to hypothesise that Charamba's utterances, are part of an elaborate scheme to doctor the Commission findings and recommendations.

Prof Moyo, ever since President Mnangagwa succeeded former Robert Mugabe, has become obsessed with the President and taken it upon himself to criticize him and Government policies through the social media at every chance he gets, one cannot help but notice a vengeful vendetta by the not so intelligent Professor to President Mnangagwa.

Dr Magaisa once acted as the late Morgan Tsvangirai's advisor and has been part of the opposition since time immemorial; hence his criticism of President Mnangagwa and Government is not so surprising.

Anyway, I am digressing, Charamba highlighted that, "at law, nothing compels the President to release the report to the public or not to release it to the public," and according to the Commission of Inquiry Act, Charamba is spot on in his utterances.  

The Commission of Inquiry Act clearly stipulates that the President and in this case, President Mnangagwa has the sole responsibility of appointing one or more commissioners to inquire into the conduct of an employee within the public service.

The President will also appoint a Chairperson to lead the Commission of Inquiry who will in turn report to the President. The President would also be solely responsible for deciding whether the Commission findings and recommendations shall be published for the public.

Charamba was only pointing out the obvious in his statement, which obviously was misconstrued by elements who have a hidden agenda to soil the President and the Commission's reputation.

President Mnangagwa in August, addressing a press conference made it clear that the Commission report shall be made public. "Everything must be transparent. A report will be produced and published. We don't want to deal with it privately," he said.
It is clear that the President reserves the right to decide if the 1 August Commission of Inquiry is to be made public, Charamba was only citing what is in black and white and contained in the Commission of Inquiry Act. Supposed scholars in the mould of Dr Magaisa, Prof Moyo and Dr Chengeta should be well aware of this and until President says otherwise, he promised that once the Commission finalises its findings, the report shall be made public.

- Claver Nyuki


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