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Zimbabwe needs political tolerance during, after elections

12 Oct 2022 at 05:42hrs | Views
ZIMBABWEANS yesterday woke up to the most surprising, but welcome news that the country's main political parties shared the same platform to condemn violence and to promote peace in the run-up to the 2023 polls.

Yes, Zanu-PF, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and the MDC Alliance, reportedly came together, smoked the peace pipe and jointly called for peace as Zimbabwe heads for the do-or-die general elections next year.

Zanu-PF, as the governing party, was well represented at the Kadoma meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Institute (ZI) with party spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa and her deputy Kindness Paradza, in attendance.

Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, the Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister was also in attendance at the meeting, showing the seriousness of the Kadoma meeting.

On their part, the opposition parties, represented by their secretaries-general, Chalton Hwende (CCC) and Paulina Mpariwa (MDC-Alliance), also shared the same platform with their political nemesis.

Zimbabwe's political environment has, over the years, degenerated from a competition of ideas and ideals, to become a battlefield that has claimed many lives and left many others maimed or displaced.

Zimbabwe has experienced unnecessary bloodshed, a situation that worsens each time general elections draw closer and the 2023 harmonised elections have already created anxiety among all citizens.

It is, therefore, refreshing to note that our political leaders have proverbially smelt the coffee and committed to foster a violence-free plebiscite in 2023.

How good it would be that Zimbabweans would enjoy a chance to choose their representatives in an atmosphere that does not infringe on their rights to exercise their democratic rights to exercise universal suffrage.

Zimbabwe has endured years of economic decline, development stagnation and destabilisation due to a toxic political culture nurtured over the years for self-serving purposes among the elite.

However, when one looks at the statements by politicians critically, it remains clear that this is not the first time that our political leaders have made similar commitments.

We have heard clarion calls for political tolerance as we move towards elections only for Zimbabwe to experience unprecedented violence and loss of lives.

It is high time that Zimbabwean politicians stop paying lip service to such sacrosanct issues like political tolerance at high-level meetings while promoting violence when they meet their supporters.

Time is also nigh that Zimbabwe's political leaders walk the talk and condemn the violence that has become the hallmark of our politics.

Let's unite against violence and pray for peace to prevail in Zimbabwe.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe
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