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Zimbabwe Police Commissioner Snubs Unity Gov't Monitoring Committee


Police Commissioner-General Chihuri declined the request from JOMIC for a meeting, saying demands for security sector reform by the Movement for Democratic Change reflect a foreign agenda meant to breed chaos

Zimbabwean Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuru has dismissed a request by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, set up to track compliance with the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing, for a meeting to discuss the failure of the national police to take action against political violence.

The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, or JOMIC, asked Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa last month to communicate with Chihuri about the need for him to appear before the committee to discuss mounting political violence.

But Chihuri declined the request, saying demands for security sector reform by the Movement for Democratic Change reflect a foreign agenda meant to breed chaos.

Speaking at a police conference in Darwendale, not far from Harare in Mashonaland West province, Chihuri blamed political parties for violence and said he does not want to be involved. He denied charges the police force is biased in favor of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and against the Movement for Democratic Change.

"We have been tagged partisan, yet far from it, we are a people's police force," the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Chihuri as saying.

"This accusation of a partisan police force is aimed at coercing the leadership to agree to the so called security sector reform," he said.

Oppah Muchinguri, ZANU-PF's representative on JOMIC, referred questions about Chihuri’s refusal to meet with the committee to her Tsvangirai MDC counterpart, Tabitha Khumalo.

Khumalo told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that Chihuri says his staff has been in touch with JOMIC so he does not see the necessity to meet with the panel himself.

Martin Rupiya, a retired Zimbabwe Defense Forces officer at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria said intransigence is a Chihuri trademark.

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