Zimbabwe political parties sign peace pledge

Harare, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Zimbabwe political parties taking part in the 30 July presidential and general elections on Tuesday signed a peace pledge in Harare in which they made a public commitment to say no violence, force or intimidation, hate speech and inducing fear.

They agreed to freedom to campaign and canvas, freedom of the people to elect candidates  of their choice and secret vote, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported.

The ruling ZANU-PF presidential candidate, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, was represented by the party’s Secretary for Administration, Dr Obert Mpofu, while main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa was represented by Mr Morgan Komichi, National Chairman of the MDC-T. Chamisa is running under the banner of MDC Alliance.

The event was organised by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Retired Justice Selo Masole Nare following the promulgation of the electoral law Code of Conduct, ZBC said, adding that all candidates taking part in the 2018 elections are obliged to sign the code.

Dr Mpofu said last weekend's explosion at the ZANU-PF rally in Bulawayo addressed by President Mnangagwa that has claimed two lives and seen injuries to dozens of people should "galvanise the country to commit to peace".

He said this year’s elections are historic as political parties are free to go about their campaigns in peace and without any hindrance.

Mr Komichi expressed the hope that the commitment to peace is irreversible. He paid tribute to the late opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai saying he “taught us to respect human life … we want to experience peace….”

Mr Komichi said the state must pay attention to demands for reform made by the opposition, adding that the electoral Commission, chiefs, police and military, among others, are key in ensuring peace.

He also urged traditional leaders not to define people along political parties.

Twenty-three candidates filed their nomination papers at the High Court to contest for the presidential election.

ZBC said it is the highest since independence in 1980 and "is arguably a sign of mature democracy and the opening up of political space by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new administration".

Unprecedented pressure from the military, ruling ZANU-PF, veterans and the population at large forced out Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe in November last year.

Mugabe, who had ruled the southern Africa country since independence in 1980, was replaced by Mnangagwa, his vice president whom he had sacked a few weeks earlier.

Mnangagwa has pledged to reconcile the nation, fight corruption and hold free and fair elections.
-0- PANA MA 26June2018

26 Junho 2018 12:47:48

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