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JOMIC Investigates Torching of Houses in Mash East

The Zimbabwe unity government’s Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) is investigating the torching of two houses belonging to an activist from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party in Mutoko East constituency, Mashonaland East, by suspected Zanu PF supporters last Friday evening.

David Chamanga of Ward 17 in the Mushimbo area lost property worth thousands of dollars when his two houses were burnt by people suspected to be Zanu PF activists, among them Forbes Karonga and Kapitau Kazingizi.

Jomic officials in Marondera said it was too early to tell whether the incident was politically motivated as investigations are in progress.

But Chamanga, who escaped unhurt, as he was sleeping in another house, told VOA Studio 7 that prior to the attack, he had clashed with the suspects during the day.

He said these were the same people who harassed him several times during the 2008 elections.

Chamanga said no arrests have been made even though he filed a police report and also informed the village head and local chief, who have not taken any action.

Mashonaland East provincial spokesman Graham Nyahada of Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) said the police behaviour is worrying.

Jomic officials this week visited the area and interviewed Chamanga and other villagers but no arrests have been made.

MDC-T provincial chairman, Piniel Denga said police should have acted swiftly as they were given names of the five suspects.

Zanu PF deputy provincial chairperson Stephen Chiurayi confirmed the incident but distanced his party supporters from the incident.

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Meanwhile, as political violence resurfaces in some parts of the country ahead of the crucial general elections, questions are being raised about the effectiveness of JOMIC in monitoring incidents of political violence in Zimbabwe.

Independent political commentator Joshua Mhambi, who is also the director of policy and research in the MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, said people expect too much from JOMIC which has no arresting powers but is only a monitoring body.
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