THREE more political parties yesterday signed the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Peace Pledge as commitment to desist from any forms of violence and intimidation during elections.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The three are, People’s Rainbow Coalition led by Joice Mujuru (pictured), the National Patriotic Front led by Ambrose Mutinhiri, and the Republican Party of Zimbabwe led by Kwanele Hlabangana.
NPRC vice-chairperson commissioner Lillian Chigwedere said 20 political parties had now signed the pledge after 17 of them appended their signatures last week during a colourful ceremony at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
She said two more parties, the National Alliance of Patriotic and Democratic Republicans led by Devine Mambi Hove, and the People’s Progressive Party of Zimbabwe led by Timothy Chiguvare had also agreed to sign.
“One political party led by #1980 Freedom Movement leader Francis Danha refused to sign,” Chigwedere said.
“We tried to reach out to Danha, but he said he was not interested because we (NPRC) caused his arrest last week when he disrupted the proceedings during the signing ceremony of the 17 other political parties.”
Chigwedere said the NPRC will not force Danha to append his signature on the Peace Pledge since the process was voluntary.
“The commission will keep reaching out to him. We cannot say that he is giving us problems because by not signing, he is also expressing his rights as a citizen because this is a voluntary pledge,” she said.
In his solidarity speech, Mutinhiri condemned the Bulawayo bombing incident during a Zanu PF rally addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“We condemn it in no uncertain terms and say that it is barbaric, and must not be allowed to happen again. It is foreign and is not Zimbabwean,” he said.
Farai Mbira, one of the principals in Mujuru’s People’s Rainbow Coalition signed on her behalf. He said their campaign so far was orderly and demonstrated that they were a peaceful coalition.
“So far we are demonstrating that we are an orderly coalition which has not abused children’s rights by force-marching school children to rallies, unlike a number of institutions. We have never fought each other in the coalition, and our promise to Zimbabweans is that they will enjoy peace once we are in charge,” Mbira said.
Hlabangana said any party leader who presides over violence risked rejection by the electorate.