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Blows at Jomic

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The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic)’s toothlessness was exposed at the weekend when the political moderator failed to cool boiling political temperatures in violence-ridden Chimanimani.

A meeting called by Jomic to find solution to the escalating violence was characterised by tension as senior members from Zanu PF and the MDC-T confronted each other in front of their supporters.

The officials traded insults and came close to blows as they accused each other of inflaming violence in the district.

Jomic held a meeting at Nedziwa Business Centre with supporters of Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC aimed at finding solutions to violence which has resulted in the displacement of MDC-T supporters.

At least 12 MDC-T activists have sought refuge at party offices in Mutare while another 32 are said to be living with friends and relatives in the eastern border city.

Charles Samuriwo, Zanu PF deputy secretary for information in Manicaland, and Lynnet Karenyi, MDC-T MP for Chimanimani West, hogged the limelight when they openly confronted each other moments after the meeting.

Karenyi was complaining to journalists about how Zanu PF representative Patrick Chinamasa had allegedly hijacked the meeting to promote his party’s ideology. Samuriwo interjected resulting in a confrontation.

“What are you doing here?” Karenyi asked Samuriwo. “You do not come from this area.”
Samuriwo retorted: “You must also tell me what Pishai (Muchauraya) is doing here when he does not come from this area.”

Muchauraya is the MDC-T spokesperson for Manicaland. Police swiftly moved in to diffuse the situation as the officials came close to manhandling each other.

Muchauraya said in an interview later his party was not happy because the Saturday Jomic meeting failed to yield any fruit.

He accused Jomic of failing to integrate into their communities MDC-T supporters who fled their homes after they were allegedly attacked by suspected Zanu PF supporters in March this year.

“They are going back to the office,” Muchauraya said. “We cannot expose them to Zanu PF thugs. Nothing was addressed here.”

Superintendent Maclean Tayatara, the Officer Commanding Crime in Mutare Rural, said the police were not aware MDC-T supporters sought refuge at their party headquarters in Mutare.

“We are not aware that there are people staying at the MDC-T offices,” Tayatara said. “The police are there to serve the people.”

Samuriwo, Zanu PF deputy spokesperson, said his party was not responsible for violence which drove the families from their homes.

“It’s not us who chased them,” Samuriwo said. “Our intention is that people should live in peace and harmony.”
Speaking after the meeting, one of the victims of the alleged violence by Zanu PF, Admire Chizikani, said Chimanimani was unsafe to live in as evidenced by the tension at the meeting.

“From the look of things it is not yet safe to go back home. The purpose of the meeting was not achieved as the delegation failed to speak with one voice,” Chizikani said.

“Chinamasa actually instigated violence here and he was actually blaming us for our plight. If we come here again nothing will stop Zanu PF supporters from terrorising us.

“People who beat us were here and they have not been arrested. They say they will stop at nothing to make sure we will not set foot in Chimanimani again.”

MDC-T Jomic representative Tabitha Khumalo said she would lodge a complaint about the alleged conduct of Chinamasa whom she accused of inciting violence.

Chinamasa denied the allegation saying he was merely articulating provisions of the Global Political Agreement which denounced sanctions.

MDC-T vice-provincial chairperson in Manicaland, Shuah Mudiwa, said: “Jomic did not address the issue of violence here.

“They were supposed to have talked about the violence which forced 19 of our members to flee their homes. Things are still tense here and we expected Jomic to meet police and the local leadership to see how they could restore the lives of these people and their security.”

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