Public officials urged community members, especially the youth to desist from political and electoral violence. Speaking during the conflict management and peace building awareness campaigns held by the Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) in Masvingo province, traditional leaders, elected officials and COTRAD peace committee members’ expressed grave concerns over the resurgence of politically motivated human rights violations mainly perpetrated by the youth. The Zaka district ward 19, councilor and COTRAD peace committee member Mr. Imbayarwo implored the youth to resist manipulation by politicians in furthering their party interests through intimidating, harassing and beating their political opponents.
He added that, the politicians themselves do not risk themselves by engaging in direct political violence activities but employ the youth to secure their political power through violence. Therefore, he argued that, if the youth desist from political violence automatically there will be a conducive environment for peaceful elections since the elderly politicians are not energetic enough to partake in violence activities.
Councilor Imbayarwo added that, the public officials should also cease to sponsor political violence but should ensure and strengthen social cohesion. He calls upon all public officials to serve their communities impartially, ensure fair distribution of aid and facilitate the execution of government programs in a nonpartisan way.
It is everyone’s responsibility to guard against the disease of violence so that Zimbabwe remains a peaceful country. COTRAD calls on the youth to abstain from all forms of political violence, encouraging them to mobilize community members to register to vote and vote peacefully. COTRAD also urged the political party members to mobilize their support in a peaceful manner.
Section 67 of the constitution is clear that every citizen has the right to join and participate in the activities of a political party of their choice and campaign freely for a political party or cause. The general principles of the electoral code of conduct for political parties and candidates encourages all political parties and candidates and their supporters to promote democratic tolerance in which political activities take place without fear of intimidation or reprisals. political parties and their members and supporters must accept that others have the right to present their political principles and ideas in a peaceful environment without intimidation or fear of reprisal and must respect that right.
COTRAD is currently embarking on peace building activities through community working together (Nhimbe) and sports for peace tournaments in the province to spread the gospel of peace.
Watch Zaka ward 19 Councilor Mr. Imbayarwo calling for peace.