Vice-President John Nkomo yesterday ordered a peace slogan be aired on radio and television during prime time news with immediate effect, as a way of promoting peace in Zimbabwe.
Media and Information minister Webster Shamu concurred and immediately asked Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings managers present to produce the “Peace begins with me” jingles there and then for immediate broadcasting.
Nkomo is chairperson of the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Intergration co-headed by State ministers Sekai Holland (MDC-T) and Moses Mzila Ndlovu (MDC).
The occasion yesterday was a programme to sensitise the media on the work of the Organ. The VP challenged the media to play its part in efforts to eliminate political violence that has blighted the country.
“Mutual respect and confidence in ourselves is no more. Why should we beat people as a way to persuade them to vote for us? Before his death, the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo was always asking ‘Why are we fighting?’
He departed before an answer to his question was found. So I stand here and ask the same question: ‘Why are we fighting’,” Nkomo said.
As a follow-up to last week’s peace meeting between leaders of the three main political parties, Nkomo said President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC leader Welshman Ncube would take their meetings to the provinces and districts to emphasise their anti-violence stance to their supporters.
“Go and tell the nation their political leaders are on their way to the countryside to prove that while they may be fighting each other in the communities, the leaders are dining and wining together happily,” Nkomo said.
The Press, he said, should expose party officials that fanned violence through their speeches against the dictates of their leaders.
Shamu echoed the VP’s sentiments, saying it was common knowledge politicians were the most common source of political violence instigation.
“I would not expect to see anyone in Zanu PF going against President Mugabe’s position on violence.
That person, regardless of their position in the party, would cease to be a member and we would disengage that person for refusing to abide by the party’s position,” said Nkomo.