Traditional leaders in Gokwe Sesame and Mbire have publicly condemned violence and called for unity and peace ahead of the 2018 elections. This came out during two sports for tournaments conducted in Mbire and Gokwe on 26 August 2017 respectively.
In Mbire, the sports for peace tournament was held at Mushumbi Primary school in ward 9. The sports tournament was conducted under Heal Zimbabwe’s National Peace Campaign for peaceful 2018 elections running under the theme: 13MillionVoicesForPeace. The campaign seeks to raise awareness on the need for peace and tolerance ahead of the 2018 elections. A total of six soccer teams and six netball teams competed for the prestigious youth peace trophy. The sports tournament was attended by community leaders that include 8 village heads, 4 police officers and a representative from the Mbire Rural District Council. A total of 650 community members attended the sports tournament. Pools Medical football club won the soccer trophy whilst Mbire Queens netball team scooped the netball trophy.
In Gokwe Sesame the sports for peace tournament was conducted at Svisvi Primary school in ward 12. The tournament saw 10 soccer teams and 8 netball teams battling it out for the peace cup. The tournament was attended by 500 people and 8 Village heads. Svisvi netball team won the peace cup in the netball category while All Stars football team won in the soccer category.
As has become the norm during Heal Zimbabwe’s Sports for peace tournaments, all the participating teams pledged for peace before kick-off and vowed to continue propagating the message of peace and tolerance ahead of the looming 2018 elections. Issues that came out during the Sport tournaments in Gokwe and Mbire is the fact that during elections, youths are usually targeted to perpetrate violence by unscrupulous political actors. To counter this, participating youths’ teams however vowed to continue using sports as a tool to encourage tolerance and peace. Some of the Traditional leaders who attended the sports tournaments also promised to work hand in glove with the youths in a quest for peaceful and violent free 2018 elections. “…We are very grateful for the sports for peace tournaments as they help build peace and tolerance among the youths. Violence must be condemned and we will assist and support the youths as they campaign for peace ahead of the 2018 elections”, said one Traditional leader.
The sports tournament was one among many sports tournaments currently being conducted by Heal Zimbabwe country wide to reach out to the Zimbabwean populace on the need for peace ahead of the 2018 elections. Heal Zimbabwe will continue engaging and monitoring the teams that participated in the sports tournament and ensure that they mainstream peace through sport in their communities.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe