President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reiterated his call for tolerance and peace as Zimbabwe draws closer to the 2023 harmonised elections.
Speaking at the memorial service of national hero and liberation war fighter, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, who succumbed to cancer last year, the president said Moyo was a beacon of unity and the nation must honour his legacy by conducting peaceful elections.
The Sunday Mail, a state-run publication, quotes him as saying:
Furthermore, constructive criticism, as well as divergent views in the political, economic and social spheres must drive us towards a culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace.
This is more critical as the nation prepares for the 2023 harmonised general elections.
Zimbabwe has previously recorded violence prior to, during and after elections.
With cases of politically-motivated violence recorded this year going up, fears abound that the 2023 elections will be blood.
The United Nations has indicated that it will supervise the poll to avoid “another disputed election.”
There are reportedly two levels of political violence in Zimbabwe – intra-party (within a political party) and interparty (one party against another party) violence.
The opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) claims that the ruling ZANU PF, together with the state security forces, is assaulting, abducting and or killing its members to force them to leave the opposition party.
ZANU PF denies the allegations saying it is a peaceful party which abides by the laws of the land.
In 2008, some members of the opposition MDC lost their properties while some were assaulted and or killed by alleged ZANU PF members who were reportedly working with war veterans, police, CIOs and the army.
Recent cases of political violence:
During the run-up to March 26, 2022 by-elections CCC supporters were attacked at a rally in Kwekwe leading to the death of Mboneni Ncube after being stabbed with a spear.
The Gokwe-Kabuyuni by-elections held on August 27 saw Nelson Chamisa’s convoy under attack allegedly by senior ZANU PF officials with Local government minister July Moyo allegedly involved.
Senior ZANU PF officials are on record threatening that 2023 will be worse than 2008 when members of the opposition MDC were attacked and killed in the run-up to the run-off election.