JOC preaches peace, but only to MDC

The Joint Operations Committee, composed of service chiefs, last week urged MDC-T district officials here to practice restraint and conduct peaceful rallies.

They made the call at the Police District Headquarters in response to an application by MDC-T to hold a party meeting in the town next weekend. Violence erupted last month between rival factions of the party at Two Boy Shopping Centre.

“Desist from violence and ensure that everyone at the rally abides by the law. You would be advised to have ushers and police will be at your disposal to help maintain peace and order,” said the officer commanding Marondera District, Chief Superintendent Dube.

“The service chiefs were uncharacteristically friendly. This was strange as they have been widely blamed for championing political terror in the past. They looked 100 percent gentlemen at the meeting and seemed to mean everything they said. Maybe times have changed,” said an MDC-T official who attended the meeting.

“In the past service chiefs could not afford to be seen sitting around the table with MDC and preaching peace. We hope JOC will now begin to walk the talk,” he said.

A senior prisons officer present warned the party that anyone caught at the centre of violence less than six months after being arrested for a similar case, would be denied bail. There are no reports of the JOC holding similar meetings to encourage Zanu (PF) members to shun violence.

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