ZANU PF and MDC youths in Chitungwiza signed a peace deal on Saturday where they agreed to work together to promote peace and tolerance among the young voters of different political persuasions in the politically-charged town.
BY ALBERT MASAKA
The peace pact which may be the first of its kind in Zimbabwe was signed by the youth leaders during a political parties’ peace dialogue meeting held in St Marys’ constituency organised by the Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation and the Chitungwiza and Mhanyame Residents Association.
CCMT co-ordinator Shadreck Vengesai hailed the youths for uniting to build a peaceful society since much of the violence is instigated by youths.
“Youths should desist from being used as agents of politically-motivated violence and become active citizens that promote peace before and after elections,” he said.
Local Zanu PF youth leader, Virimayi Zingunde said love was central to peace-building and urged the youths to self-introspect and blame themselves for engaging in violence.
“Violence does not solve anything, we should walk in love, politics does not create enmity, its what it is in you that causes violence”
MDC youth leader Cosmas Tapera said the upcoming election was going to be different, urging the youths “to work together in exposing corruption”.
The meeting which was attended by hundreds of youth from different political parties, was held under the theme: 2018 Elections, Promoting Peace among Youths in Communities.
According to the agreement which was shown to NewsDay, the youths acknowledged the need for unity among all Zimbabweans irrespective of their political affiliation “recognising the need to promote peaceful and inclusive societies based on tolerance, peace and respect for human right as stated in Sustainable Development Goal Number 16 and Section 10 of the Zimbabwean constitution.”
They also agreed to pursue joint efforts to tackle political violence in Chitungwiza, considering that Zimbabwe was heading towards the elections in which the youth,together with community and church leaders, must take the lead in building peace and community cohesion.
The youths also undertook to “raise awareness in the communities on the need for peace and development and encourage party members to use non-violent ways of addressing conflict”.