Wednesday 26 July 2017


The continued involvement of the Joint Operations Command (Joc) in the running of the country’s elections is likely to work against the fight for free, fair and credible polls, Zapu president, Dumiso Dabengwa, warned this week.

The former Zipra intelligence supremo is adamant that Joc has been in charge of the country’s elections since 2008 when Zanu PF lost its majority in Parliament for the first time since independence in 1980.

In that election, MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the first round of the presidential poll but could not be declared the winner after his votes fell short of the required threshold.
That election had to be decided through a run-off that saw Tsvangirai pulling out of the race after his supporters and officials became targets of widespread violence.

Over 200 MDC supporters and officials were killed in cold blood.
Dabengwa told Southern News this week that the securocrats should have no role in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and that an independent administrative body must run the elections.

“It (Joc) should be dismantled. This country is run by a Joc system where the security makes decisions and makes sure its decisions are implemented,” Dabengwa said.
“The staffing in Zec comprises people who are and have been in security, people who take orders to do those (vote) manipulations.

“We also recommend that their influence and participation in elections should be done away with such that we have proper elections that are run by an independent administration,” he added.

Joc is the supreme organ for the coordination of State security in Zimbabwe.
It was established by the Rhodesian Security Forces to supervise its counter-insurgency campaign in the Rhodesian Bush War as well as external incursions into neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Mozambique.

It retained its role in the post-independence Zimbabwe. It comprises heads of the intelligence, police and army.

Dabengwa’s statement comes after he recently called for the postponement of the 2018 elections, saying events on the ground indicated that Zec was not yet ready to conduct a credible election.

Dabengwa also cited the involvement of Joc as one of the reasons why the elections should be postponed.

“It is obvious that Joc is in control of the country. Nothing can be done without reference to that security system that was created since 2008.

“After the results of the 2008 election were cleared, it was Joc which said they were not to be announced over a period of time until they were able to manipulate everything and come up with a result that would keep Zanu PF government in power,” he said.

“They (Joc) are physically there. They are deployed each time there are elections. Army commissars go around to influence voting in each constituency.

“Besides that, it is the army, police and other security personnel that actually administer the process of voting.” Daily News


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