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No polls violence: PM tells church leaders

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MORE than 200 church leaders yesterday met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and expressed fear of a resurgence of violence ahead of the Second All-Stakeholders Conference, the referendum and polls tentatively pencilled for next year.

Report by Moses Matenga, Staff Reporter

Tsvangirai met the church leaders at a local hotel where he assured them that the principals in the inclusive government — himself, President Robert Mugabe and Professor Welshman Ncube — were committed to a successful conference and a peaceful election.

The Premier said he would meet Mugabe over the alleged involvement of the army in the electoral process, saying the uniformed forces’ only mandate was maintenance of peace in the country.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the meeting and said his boss had assured the clergy the issue of violence would be resolved and that the next elections would be peaceful.

“He briefed them on the draft constitution and assured them that the three principals agreed that there won’t be any violence. He told them that the three leaders were committed to a peaceful process and would all address the conference,” Tamborinyoka said.

“The PM told the church leaders that there was no role for the army in elections, but to maintain peace. He emphasised that the church had a role to play.”

Tamborinyoka said the clergy also expressed concern over reported incidents where the army allegedly summoned traditional chiefs to their barracks and the Premier promised to take their concerns to the President.

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