Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust (ZIVOVT) has set up a pilot inter-party peace committee to engage perpetrators of political violence in Bulawayo in a bid to curb violence ahead of national elections later this year.
ZIVOVT secretary Bekithemba Nyathi said an inter-party liaison peace committee comprising churches, Zanu PF, the two MDCs, Zapu and Zapu Federal Party members, had already been formed.
He said ZIVOVT facilitated peace programmes to ensure the committee achieved its goals of advocating against violence during and after elections.
“The committee agreed on targeting institutions used in the perpetration of violence.
“It will engage Zimbabwe National War Veterans’ Association led by Jabulani Sibanda, Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army, National Youth Service Graduates’ Association and the security sector comprising the police and the army,” said Nyathi.
He said all parties in the committee acknowledged these institutions were synonymous with violence, hence the need to approach and conscientise them on the need to desist from violence.
“The committee aims to inculcate a culture of love and tolerance in them. The fortunate part is the parties involved in the programme are showing willingness to ensure peace prevails in the society,” said Nyathi.
Nyathi said similar committees would be set up countrywide.
“We need peace more than anything else. As long as there is no peace anything will stir violence and cause crisis. The committee is there to make all parties understand it is not a crime for one to belong to a party that the other does not belong to,” he said.
The committee is chaired by Samuel Mahlamvana Ndlovu from the pastors’ fraternity in Bulawayo.
Nyathi said ZIVOVT planned to engage the media and business community in the programme.