NPRC calls for violence-free election


Harare (New Ziana) – As the country enters the election season, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) on Monday called on political parties and leaders to desist from using inflammatory language at campaign rallies to ensure peace and stability.

In an interview with New Ziana, NPRC commissioner Obert Gutu said the commission had lined up peace-building initiatives across the country to ensure that the forthcoming general elections, expected around mid-year, were held in a peaceful environment.

He said the NPRC was worried about emerging signs of the use of hate and inflammatory language by some political players, which could incite their supporters, particularly youths, to engage in inter-party violence in the lead-up to the elections.

Gutu also called for responsible use of social media as a campaign tool by political players, saying abusing it could equally lead to violence.

Recent elections have been marked by incidents of violence, some of which were later discovered to have been faked by the opposition to draw sympathy, and to lay the groundwork to dispute the eventual outcome.

“As Zimbabweans, we must be united in our divergent views, we should learn to tolerate one another regardless of our political affiliation,” Gutu said.

He said that both intra and inter-party violence had no place in modern day Zimbabwe and challenged political party leaders to speak on the need to refrain from violence.

He said the NPRC had come up with an election strategy document to guide their operations before, during and after the elections, including reactivating its provincial peace committees.

It is currently holding workshops with the committees as part of the preparations for the elections, which will cover presidential, parliamentary and local government segments.

“In fact, we are now very busy with various activities aimed at making sure that there is zero tolerance to violence during this period,” Gutu said.

He said the commission will also be meeting various stakeholders involved in the elections, such as political parties, their supporters, ordinary people, government and civil society, among others, to advance its message of a violence-free election.

New Ziana

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