Youths from various political parties have pledged to be ambassadors of peace while calling on all senior party leaders to be tolerant of each other as the country braces for what promises to be a hotly contested race to take over the reigns of government in next Monday’s harmonized elections.
The youths composed of MDC-T led by Nelson Chamisa, Zanu PF, ZAPU and MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube among others who met under the Joint Youth Liaison Committee (JYLC) convened by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) hailed the peaceful political environment currently obtaining in the country despite elections being barely a week away.
MDC-T Youth Assembly Secretary General, Lovemore Chinoputsa appealed for tolerance from all parties.
“Cognizant of the recently signed peace pledge convened by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), the JYLC in solidarity with the political party main wings, commit to uphold the same tenets of the pledge.
“In doing so, we commit to tolerate our diversity, advocate for peace, to seek dialogue and facilitate for social cohesion in our communities.
“We also pledge to stand firm against and challenge advocates of violence, discrimination of any form, especially to women and girls and any barriers to peaceful coexistence, ” said Chinoputsa.
With just a week before the elections, the country has relatively remained calm compared to other election years as just a few cases of politically motivated violence have been reported
Chinoputsa implored youths to participate peacefully in the electoral process.
He, however, called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to play its role in as far as delivering a free, fair and credible election is concerned.
He said ZEC has an obligation to ensure that its conduct does not warrant for post-election violence.
Meanwhile, the NPRC has committed to continue advocating for a peaceful electoral environment.
Commissioner Patience Chiradza said her commission has been holding public awareness programs aimed at fostering peace.
“It is wonderful to note that the youth political leaders are calling for a peaceful election and promotion of peace and development in general.
“We are quite excited that the Peace Pledge signed in June has been taken further by different organizations, the youth, the churches and we believe that as all Zimbabweans, if we work together, we can achieve our goal, which is a peaceful electoral environment,” said Commissioner Chiradza.
Meanwhile, the MDC Alliance has reaffirmed its position that it will hold a peaceful protest against ZEC starting tomorrow.
The opposition party is planning a sit in at ZEC offices countrywide in an effort to push for electoral reforms with seven days to the elections.