President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team said it was happy with the latest stance taken by Zimbabwe’s political antagonists where they jointly denounced violence and pledged to campaign peacefully in the forthcoming general elections.
On Friday, President Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF) and his coalition government partners Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and MDC leader Welshman Ncube led their parties in denouncing violence.
But analysts on Sunday urged the party leaders to translate their pledges into reality. Zuma’s facilitation team spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu described the development as positive and urged the parties to continue dialogue.
“We have always said that solutions to the challenges in Zimbabwe rest squarely on the shoulders of Zimbabweans.
“We have always urged the parties to engage each other and put their country first, so we are happy that they were able to meet and make a commitment to peace,” she said.
Zulu said the facilitation team would continue with its work and would come to Zimbabwe on a scheduled trip soon. Political analyst Blessing Vava said:
“It is a positive move by the leadership of these three parties, but that message should get down to the structures.” He, however, said Zanu PF was not sincere in calls to end violence.
“Violence is their holy communion and they thrive on it to outwit opposing parties. They know that without violence and intimidation it’s difficult for them to win elections,” he said.
Charles Mangongera, a political analyst, said: “These are just political statements and political grandstanding. We have heard these statements before, especially from President Mugabe, but immediately after that, there is violence.
“I don’t think it’s about verbal commitment, it’s about practical steps on the ground and the police doing their work. If people know they will be arrested for perpetrating violence, they will not engage in violence.”