Friday, June 1, 2018

Peace must prevail as election season begins

Views
THE country’s election season has begun following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s proclamation of July 30 as the elections date.
Past elections have often not been without drama and marked by violence and intimidation — making them dark periods in the country’s political history.
It is our prayer that all stakeholders — politicians, voters and others — will do all it takes to ensure that those campaigning will do so in peace.
It has always been the trend during the election season that politicians become easily excitable, especially during public rallies, where they end up making inflammatory statements that promote violence.
We believe that politics of hatred, violence and name-calling is barbaric and primitive, and must be shunned by progressive Zimbabweans before, during and after next month’s polls.
Therefore, we would like to remind politicians and their supporters of the sanctity of human life and to appreciate that while we may belong to different political parties or grouping, we are all Zimbabweans and belong to this great country.
In fact, as citizens together, we are duty-bound to contribute to peace and harmony, which are key ingredients for development.
There are many people in this country who bear on their bodies gruesome marks and scars of the violence that has been associated with elections in the past.
In many cases, members of the opposition parties have borne the brunt of the ruling Zanu PF brutality, while the police looked aside.
It is time to remind Mnangagwa, MDC-T and MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, being the two front runners, and other political leaders that they owe it to the citizens of this country that such things will remain a memento from the past.
During this season, it’s important to remember there are people who lost their loved ones, or their limbs, in past elections and are always reminded of their losses during election time.
Hence, all those aspiring for political office should avoid using inflammatory and abusive language. With Zimbabweans looking forward to a real change in the country’s political, social and economic situation, politicians must learn to address critical issues that have to do with people’s lives rather than cheap politicking at the expense of the majority.
Let the credibility and fairness of the elections begin with the politicians themselves during the campaign period.
Mnangagwa, as the sitting President, should make sure that peace prevails before, during and after the elections to produce a free, fair and credible result.
Anything short of this is a charade!