Exercise restraint as nation awaits results

ZIMBABWEANS from all walks of life yesterday came out in their numbers to cast their ballots in the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections that will direct the destiny of the country in the next five years.

To their credit, the people of Zimbabwe cast their ballots peacefully and we do hope the peace will continue even in the coming days as they wait the result of the presidential result. We call on all stakeholders in the elections to accept the outcome of the vote, given that they all participated in the election.

We appreciate that both Zanu PF presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa and his MDC Alliance arch-rival Nelson Chamisa have expressed confidence that they will win the race, and this could be an antidote for violence should the supporters of the losing candidate fail to take it kindly.

However, both Mnangagwa and Chamisa should caution their followers to desist from violence and properly channel their grievances.

Whoever wins the country’s top job should be able to also work with the losers for the betterment and progress of our nation because we all have a contribution to make. In fact, the winner should be magnanimous and clearly know that his win means he becomes President of all Zimbabweans regardless of the electoral contest. There should be no victimisation of anyone, for citizens demand progress, and the task at hand is to lead the country towards economic recovery not to fulfil personal egos.

We are still mindful that in 2008, violence only reared its ugly head after Zanu PF lost the election in the first round and failed to clinch 51% of the vote. It sought to intimidate voters to revise their voting patterns and the result was a disaster. This should not be allowed to happen again, especially given the fact that the country is desperate to be re-admitted into the community of nations after having been a pariah state for so long.

It is also our hope that the election observers in the country will produce truthful and honest reports on what they witnessed without any undue influence.

We would like to salute all those who went out to decide through casting their ballots. This is important because it is up to us to decide what becomes of our country. We should all be responsible for who governs us through our vote.

This is the time to avoid being over-excited so that all the due processes are allowed to run their course. So Zimbabwe as we await the result of the presidential contest, let us exercise caution, and avoid inflammatory speeches or rallies. Peace should be the foremost thing in this country if our elections are to meet international standards, and not a contested result.

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