Zanu PF yesterday accused MDC-T of boycotting the launch of a code of conduct for political parties by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) in Bulawayo.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
MDC provincial chairperson Oscar Ncube attended the event alongside his Zanu PF counterpart Callistus Ndlovu. Leslie Ncube, a Zanu PF Jomic liaison officer for Matabeleland South and Zanu PF youth league secretary for administration said MDC-T’s failure to attend the event showed that the party was not committed to peace.
“To us Zanu PF, it was not shocking that MDC-T boycotted such an important occasion where all parties were to affirm their commitments to peaceful elections” he said.
“We hear they chose to welcome their leader (Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai) at the airport and failed to send even one person.
“All along, they have been accusing Zanu PF of being violent.
“However, with their no-show at the expense of Tsvangirai, we wonder if MDC-T is committed to shun violence during elections.”
But MDC-T’s Jomic representative Thabitha Khumalo dismissed the accusation that they boycotted the event. “There was a clash of times,” she said. “Prime Minister Tsvangirai arrived in the morning and we had a meeting with him as a party at our offices at 9am.
“That was the time when the Jomic meeting was set to start.”
Oscar Ncube said the MDC will uphold the code.
“As a party, we are 100% committed to abide by the code of conduct. It is important to do so as we want peaceful elections,” he said.
Jomic spokesperson Joram Nyathi said yesterday’s meeting was for political parties to restate their commitment to peaceful polls.
“Basically the meeting was for political parties to reaffirm their commitment to peaceful elections and everyone had agreed to participate,” he said.
“We expected Zanu-PF, MDC, and MDC-T to be present, but MDC-T was absent. We hear their representatives went to meet Tsvangirai at the airport.”
Tsvangirai was in the city to meet civic society, business and church leaders.