Zimbabwe’s military has told a commission of inquiry that its soldiers did not kill civilians during protests in the capital, Harare, that erupted after the contentious 30 July poll.

Six people were shot and killed and more than a dozen others were injured in the aftermath of the first elections to take place since Robert Mugabe was ousted as president after three decades in power.

Supporters of opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, clashed with security forces in the streets of the capital after they claimed that the ruling party, Zanu-PF, had stolen the election.

A seven-member independent commission of inquiry – set up in August and headed by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe – has been hearing testimony to establish who was to blame for the protests and the fatalities.

It is supposed to wrap up its work in three months.

The government has said that no order was given to shoot civilians on 1 August and that victims, some shot in the back, could have been killed by armed business owners or militant opposition protesters.

Video footage seems to suggest otherwise.

The army’s testimony drew occasional, incredulous laughter from the audience at the commission of inquiry.

The opposition says the probe is President Emmerson Mnangangwa’s attempt to escape liability.