BULAWAYO – Thanitha Khumalo, a member of the Joint monitoring Implementation Committee (Jomic), has countermanded a directive by the President’s Office to surrender all vehicles currently used by its members saying these will not be submitted before elections.
About 78 vehicles were allocated to Jomic officers representing the three political parties in the unity government in all the country’s 10 provinces.
But the president’s office, through deputy chief secretary for modernisation and administration Ray Ndhlukula, said the vehicles should have been surrendered to government by July 22.
In a letter to the organ, Ndhlukula cited the abuse of vehicles for political party activities especially ahead of elections for recalling of the vehicles.
But according to media reports, none of the three political parties has complied with the directive.
Dismissing reports where she was said to have admitted that the vehicles will be surrendered, Khumalo said the president’s office should stay out of the matter.
“The vehicles will not be surrendered. They were not bought by government but were donated to the Government of National Unity as part of the Global Political Agreement signed by all three political parties in government,” she said.
Jomic was formed in 2008 in order to ensure full implementation of the GPA.
Since its formation Jomic had been able to engage a lot of stakeholders, including hosting the first historic multiparty meetings in a bid to build mutual trust, tolerance and understanding among Zimbabweans.
Khumalo, who is representing the mainstream MDC in the Bulawayo East Constituency, said the vehicles are still needed as they will be used for monitoring the July 31 elections.
“After the elections, that is when the donors not the president’s office will decide what to do with the vehicles,” Khumalo said.
Early this week, Jomic released a statement outlining the use of vehicles under the committee’s jurisdiction in reaction to public concerns that some political parties were abusing the vehicles for campaigning purposes instead of their core business.
As part of Jomic mandate, the vehicles were expected to be used to investigate incidents of political violence and in peace- building programmes in the provinces and districts.
Jomic also managed to meet members from civic society organisations, faith-based organisations and traditional leaders as part of its mandate to be the catalyst for fostering peace and reducing polarisation in the country.