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President Mnangagwa urges peace ahead of elections

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Harare (New Ziana) – As the year 2023 beckons, an election year for Zimbabwe, it is critical for Zimbabweans to maintain peace and shame Western sponsored elements who thrive on violence to discredit the country’s polls, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

Zimbabwe’s elections have in the past been tainted by violence, instigated mainly by opposition parties as part of the broader Western sponsored regime change agenda.

As such, the Second Republic is leaving no stone unturned to ensure peaceful polls.

Writing in his last weekly column for 2022 in the Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa said preparations were underway to ensure the country holds successful, free, fair and non-violent elections.

“While the first three goals are met through resources, laws and sound management of the electoral process, the last goal of violence-free elections depends on all of us, political actors especially. I appeal to us all to play our part to ensure our elections are conducted in a spirit of peace, love and amity,” he said.

“We owe ourselves and our nation total peace, and nothing less. We must shame all those within and outside our borders who have been investing in violence. Of course, all our security arms will be out in full force to ensure peace in the country before, during and after elections.”

The government has set aside ZW$76 billion in the 2023 national budget for 2023 general elections, which are expected around mid-next year.

In preparation for the elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission conducted a two phased voter registration blitz as well as voter’s roll inspection, while a constituency and ward delimitation exercise based on latest national population census data, is also underway.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa saluted Zimbabweans, both at home and abroad for the unity of purpose exhibited throughout the year which saw the country overcoming several challenges caused by both internal and external factors.

External factors including Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine which resulted in the need for urgent measures to ensure wheat sufficiency.

And through a special and well-co-ordinated winter wheat programme, Zimbabwean farmers delivered a record harvest, to insulate the country from global shortages arising from the war in Ukraine.

It is such efforts that President Mnangagwa applauded and wishes Zimbabweans carry forward even during times of electoral contestation.

“I am quite pleased our nation, led by the Government, rose to the occasion so remarkably. To the citizen, whether at home or abroad, there was no by-stander. Thank you, Zimbabweans, for the sterling effort which you exerted and executed with such amazing unity of purpose.

“That became a winning formula which saw our nation going through, and even registering remarkable gains in adversity. Our economy is projected to grow by 4.6 percent in the year we are about to close. This growth rate is above the average in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

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