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Chiwenga denounces campaign violence

by Staff reporter
08 Mar 2022 at 06:58hrs | Views
VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has denounced all forms of violence and urged Zimbabweans to desist from fighting each other ahead of the March 26 by-elections.

Mr Nelson Chamisa, who leads the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), is on record saying he will use violence if he loses next year's elections.

The call by the Vice-President follows recent political violence that erupted in Kwekwe during a CCC campaign rally in which one person died. Police arrested 16 suspects, but five appeared in court in connection with the death.

Social media and opposition elements have been accusing Zanu-PF of instigating the political violence in Kwekwe despite the fact that when violence broke out in the middle of a speech by Mr Chamisa, the party's organising secretary Mr Amos Chibaya could be seen grabbing the microphone inciting party youths to resort to violence.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe has said police will leave no stone unturned in hunting for perpetrators of violence and cautioned political actors against prematurely making conclusions or apportioning blame to anyone before investigations are completed.

Addressing scores of Zanu-PF supporters at a rally at Isilwane Youth Centre in Old Pumula suburb on Friday to drum up support for the ruling party candidates ahead of the March 26 by-elections, VP Chiwenga said an election is not justification for any form of violence.

"We want the election process to be defined by peace.

We don't want any violence and we say no to violence and we condemn it and give it the utmost contempt it deserves," he said.

VP Chiwenga said Zimbabweans should shun violence and be united in their diversity.

"As our late Vice-President John Nkomo said ‘peace begins with you, peace begins with me and peace begins with all of us', we must sing unity, unity, unity and this is how we as Zanu-PF prevail.

We are strong as we continue to be united in our diversity as Zimbabwe.

"Let us therefore, love one another and our country Zimbabwe.

We need to keep violence out of our politics because we are a peace-loving people and we cherish doing our business in an environment of peace and unity."

VP Chiwenga, who is also the Second Secretary of the ruling party, said despite political differences, Zimbabweans are one as they are bound by the blood shed during the country's struggle for independence.

"So, we remain as brothers and sisters of one Zimbabwe, bound by the blood that was shed during the struggle to liberate this country and exemplified by the red colour on our national flag.

An election is certainly not justification for any form of violence," he said.

VP Chiwenga said violence is not developmental and reminded citizens, including those in opposition that being in opposition was not permanent.

He urged people to go out in their numbers and vote for Zanu-PF on March 26, saying the ruling party's victory would be a win for the people, democracy and development.

"The election season is upon us. As you may be aware, the nation will conduct by-elections for vacant parliamentary and council seats. Our party is known for its symbiotic relationship with the people just like fish are with water," said the VP.

"We have come to reaffirm our total allegiance to the spirit of being a party of the people, a party that works for the people and a party that is inspired by the aspirations of the people.

This is why our revered and able leader, the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, Mnangagwa always underlines the principle of servant leadership."

Last month, President Mnangagwa launched the Zanu-PF campaign ahead of the by-elections in Epworth, Harare, where he enunciated game-changing policies that his administration is implementing to make Zimbabwe an upper-middle-class economy by 2030.

The elections are also coming at a time when the ruling party is steering the economy towards sustainable growth as is stated in the economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1.

Last year, President Mnangagwa gifted urbanites title deeds as the Central Government moved in to end the rot in local authorities that has been in the hands of corruption-ridden and often incompetent opposition parties.

VP Chiwenga said under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa, the country has been taken to a new level, punctuated by a raft of development-oriented policies, programmes and projects.

"None but ourselves shall build and develop our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone.

Hence, the mantra nyika inovakwa nevene vayo speaks loudly and clearly to the need for each one of us to put both hands on the deck and work for the national development.

The thrust of Zanu-PF under the stewardship of Dr ED Mnangagwa is to ensure that the country attains Vision 2030, which will be characterised by an empowered upper-middle income society by year 2030," he said.

The Vice-President said the Zanu-PF-led Government has come up with policies and programmes that would take the country into the desired future.

"The Government has come up with the National Development Strategy 1, a successor to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, which ran from 2018 to December 2020. This philosophy of this developmental thrust is to ensure that no one and no place is left behind," he said.

The Vice-President said Government is also making tremendous efforts to improve education of underprivileged children through the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM).

He also highlighted some of the major developmental projects being undertaken by Government such as the US$1,5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project, which entails the addition of Units 7 and 8, refurbishment of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station and completion of the Lake Gwayi-Shangani, including laying of the pipeline to Bulawayo.

The 245km pipeline is set to create a greenbelt for communities staying along its way and ease Bulawayo's perennial water crisis.

Government has increased the number of contractors that will lay the pipeline from Lake Gwayi-Shangani to Bulawayo to 11 to ensure water is pumped to the city by the end of this year.

There were initially six contractors that had been awarded the contract.

Each contractor has been given at least 21km to work on.

Construction of the Lake Gwayi-Shangani is among the Government's major priorities and is expected to be completed this year after missing last year's deadline.

Source - The Chronicle