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Zimbabwe Monitoring Panel Again Seeks Meeting With Police Chief Chihuri


Chihuri's refusal to meet with JOMIC has focused attention on his term, which ended in September and has yet to be renewed by President Mugabe though the president is said to intend to re-appoint him in February

Zimbabwe's Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, created to track compliance with the 2008 Global Political Agreement, has for a second time asked Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to ask Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to meet the panel to discuss political violence and allegedly partisan police enforcement.

Last week Chihuri dismissed a similar request saying the committee has already met with his staff so he did not see the point of meeting with JOMIC himself.

Chihuri's refusal to meet with JOMIC has focused attention on his term, which expired in September and has yet to be renewed by President Robert Mugabe, though sources said the president intends to reappoint his ally for a year in February 2012.

Chihuri’s tenure has been the subject of intense debate within Zimbabwe's national unity government, with Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF resisting any moves to retire him while the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change and human rights groups are pushing for the appointment of a new Zimbabwe Republic Police chief.

Thabitha Khumalo, representative on the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee for the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said the panel might appeal to the unity government principals if Chihuri snubs the committee again.

Political analyst Trevor Maisiri said the principals - Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Tsvangirai, and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara - have the muscle to order Chihuri, otherwise a law unto himself, to comply and meet with the monitoring committee.

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