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We’ve been helpless — Jomic

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The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) has admitted it is a toothless bulldog and has failed to effectively play its role in Zimbabwean politics.

Jomic’s core business is to monitor the implementation of the GPA as well as receive and address grievances from the three main political parties in the inclusive government.

Jomic is also meant to serve as a catalyst in creating and promoting an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding between the parties and to promote continuing dialogue between the parties.

The parties in the inclusive government undertook to channel all complaints, grievances, concerns and issues relating to compliance with the GPA through Jomic and to refrain from any conduct which could undermine the spirit of co-operation necessary for the fulfilment of the agreement.

Jomic has, however, failed to ensure the implementation of the GPA resulting in endless bickering between the coalition partners, which culminated in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai boycotting Cabinet and weekly meetings with President Robert Mugabe.

The body had a two-day retreat recently in Nyanga to examine the role it has played since its formation.

“Clearly, we have not been as effective as we would have liked to be, considering our mandate. When we started, we were effective but we could not maintain the effectiveness,” said Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga, a co-chairperson of Jomic.

“There was also little interaction, if any, between us and Sadc and yet Sadc is supposed to rely on us to assess the situation in the country.

“Perhaps one of the reasons why we were no very effective was because we relied on the co-chairpersons, who are Cabinet ministers and are very busy.”

Jomic co-chairpersons are Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC), who replaced Welshman Ncube, Elton Mangoma (MDC-T) and Nicholas Goche (Zanu PF).

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the body resolved to form an operations committee, to handle administration issues, while media, land and sanctions committees were also constituted.

Jomic identified land, media and the sanctions as some of the issues that need to be addressed.

The media committee will look at all media-related issues in the GPA such as freedom of expression, the Zimbabwe Media Commision, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, licensing, coverage by the public broadcaster, and external radio stations, among other things.

The sanctions committee will look at the commitment of the government and political parties to ensure that sanctions are removed and the work they are doing, while the land committee will deal with issues to deal with land.

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