Kadoma (New Ziana) – Ruling ZANU-PF party spokesman Christopher Mutsvangwa on Tuesday said political parties in the country should moderate their election campaign messages, and preach peace and unity, to ensure a violence-free election next year.
Speaking at a media election reporting workshop here, he said parties should avoid antagonist language towards each other which could instigate violence by their members.
Instead, Mutsvangwa said, political leaders should use temperate language in their messaging, built around values of peace and unity.
“Let us build goodwill between each other. Twenty years of acrimony is a long time,” he said.
Mutsvangwa said it was imperative for political parties to have a common position on critical issues affecting the country, such as sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe over its land reforms.
He said the sanctions, which include travel bans on some leaders of the ruling party, created an uneven playing field in electoral races, as do foreign-based pirate radio stations churning anti-ZANU-PF propanganda.
He said both the government and ruling party were committed to ensuring democracy in the country, and restore Zimbabwe’s standing in the world.
For years, the country came under heavy criticism, much of it based on Western falsehoods, that government falsified elections, and clamped down on opposition parties.
“We have taken the centre stage in making sure that democratic ethos take centre stage in ZANU-PF politics. So, if you are criticizing us about certain things of the past you are mistaken, we are steps ahead. We are restoring the democratic credentials of Zimbabwe so that this country moves with its head and shoulders high in Africa,” Mutsvangwa said.
The workshop was attended also attended by top leaders from the main opposition parties, including the Movement for Democratic Change, and Citizens Coalition for Change.
It was about ensuring fair media coverage for all contesting parties in the upcoming elections.