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Zimbabwe Ruling Parties Summon Service Chiefs Over Intimidation Tactics


The service chiefs are on record saying they won't accept the results of the elections widely expected to be held next year if Mr. Mugabe does not emerge as the winner of the presidential ballot

Zimbabwe's Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, a mechanism to see that power sharing unfolds as agreed under the 2008 Global Political Agreement, has summoned service chiefs for an explanation of increasing intimidation of critics of President Robert Mugabe.

The so-called securocrats, seen as a mainstay of Mr. Mugabe's continued personal power, are to be questioned by the three co-chairman of the committee known as JOMIC: Nicholas Goche of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF, Elton Mangoma of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube of the MDC formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, political sources said.

Ncube and Mangoma confirmed the meeting but declined to disclose details.

Sources say Zimbabwe National Army General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Marshal Perence Shiri, Central Intelligence Organization Chief Happtyon Bonyongwe and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri have been summoned to meet individually with the committee.

The sources said they were called individually to discourage intransigence as a group.

The service chiefs, who sources say have agreed to attend the meetings with JOMIC, are on record saying they won't accept the results of the elections widely expected to be held next year if Mr. Mugabe does not emerge as the winner of the presidential ballot.

Mr. Mugabe was defeated in the first round of the 2008 presidential election by now-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, but was declared the winner of a run-off election that June amid widespread violence that led Mr. Tsvangirai to withdraw from the contest.

Sources say the military has begun to deploy officers nominally on leave to locations around the country, especially in rural areas, to bolster ZANU-PF's hold on the electorate, while the Zimbabwe Republic Police reportedly has recruited retired officers and self-styled liberation war veterans to beef up their ranks ahead of the anticipated 2011 elections.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that JOMIC does not have the power to rein in the securocrats.

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