Thursday, November 10, 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011 00:00
Zvamaida Murwira and Lloyd Gumbo
JOMIC and the Organ on National Healing, Integration and Reconciliation yesterday met representatives of parties in the inclusive Government and chiefs ahead of tomorrow's indaba on violence. While acknowledging the police probe into recent cases of violence, Jomic said it was launching its own investigations to establish the forces behind the skirmishes.
Those fingered in the probe will be prosecuted. Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa, who is co-ordinating tomorrow's high-level indaba, said preparations for the meeting were going on well. He said preliminary meetings were held yesterday.
"We are meeting again tomorrow (today) as co-ordinators and secretaries general of other parties in preparation for the meeting," said Cde Mutasa.
Jomic co-chairpersons Cde Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu-PF), Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) and Mr Elton Mangoma (MDC-T) said they were going to meet Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri over the issue.
Jomic chairperson for November Mrs Misihairabwi Mushonga said a Jomic committee yesterday met provincial chairmen for Harare from the three political parties.
They met Cde Amos Midzi (Zanu-PF), Mr Paul Madzore (MDC-T) and Mr Trynos Muguchini (MDC).
Mr Madzore confirmed the meeting, but said it was just an interface by the provincial leadership.
"Violence is of concern to everyone, so as the chairpersons of the parties we are going to meet again tomorrow morning (today).
"After we have done our investigations, we will notify the police of our findings and also to find out what would have happened to the perpetrators," she said.
"As Jomic, we do not tolerate violence and we would want political parties' leadership to cascade the message of peace down to the grassroots. We would want the political leadership to always take responsibility in stopping this violence."
Cde Chinamasa said it was critical to establish the underlying causes of violence.
He said the meeting with the police top brass would ensure perpetrators of violence are brought to book.
Cde Chinamasa said it was the responsibility of the police to investigate and prosecute all perpetrators of violence.
"As Jomic, we can't prevent violence and we expect the police to be in the lead in investigating and bringing to book all the perpetrators.
"That is the reason why the police should always be informed of meetings so that they can have their people at the possible flash points because we believe what is important is to prevent violence," he said.
Cde Chinamasa said the meeting with the police will afford them a chance to present their side of the story.
He said the objective was to create an environment for free and fair elections.
Cde Chinamasa said the legitimacy of any election outcome where there is violence would be disputed.
He said Jomic was in the process of establishing district committees to monitor political parties and their supporters.
Cde Chinamasa said the committees would be best suited to impartially advise the Jomic leadership of the causes of violence.
He said Jomic had found funding to finance districts and provincial operations.
Mr Mangoma said there was need for the political leadership to walk the talk on preaching peace.
"We want to see commitment from leadership and what they say in public should be consistent with what they say in private.
"If we let this violence continue, it will consume this nation overnight and as Jomic we will do our part in making sure that there is peace and tranquillity in the country. We cannot develop as a country if there is violence.
"Jomic will carry out its own investigations and everyone knows that a fair game has to be done and the facts will come out and those behind it will have to be prosecuted," he said.
Mr Mangoma said Jomic's goal was to build peace and tolerance through dialogue.
Mr Mangoma hailed parties in the inclusive Government for coming together to promote peace.
He said tomorrow's high-level meeting will be a landmark move in the fight against political violence.
During the Organ on National Healing, Integration and Reconciliation's meeting with traditional leaders, it was agreed that chiefs were best placed to deal with political violence in their localities.
Vice President John Nkomo who chairs the organ said from their interaction with various stakeholders in the past months, traditional leaders were the right people to deal with the vice.
Chiefs' Council president Fortune Charumbira concurred with VP Nkomo, but implored the three political parties to invite traditional leaders to tomorrow's indaba as observers.
The Vice President chronicled the country's political history and the struggle for independence, adding there was no need for brothers to fight each other.
He said the fight should have ended with the war against imperialists.
VP Nkomo said a council will be established from national to district level to deal with political violence.
A code of conduct will be prepared for political parties that should guide them, said the VP.
Chief Charumbira said when political violence occurs, traditional leaders are hurt most.
Some traditional leaders were given an opportunity to give their views on the matter.