PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said his government was committed to ensuring peace during elections as political temperatures have risen ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The country has already recorded isolated incidents of political violence, with the opposition alleging that it is being targeted by suspected ruling Zanu PF supporters.
The run-up to the March by-elections was marred by political violence that claimed the life of an opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist.
Addressing delegates at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, United States yesterday, Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was a peaceful country.
“As my government continues to entrench democracy, good governance and the rule of law, we are committed to vibrant, competitive and peaceful political contestations. Zimbabwe is a peace loving country,” Mnangagwa said.
Human rights watchdogs have, however, predicted a violent run-up to the 2023 elections.
Turning to southern Africa, Mnangagwa appealed for UN support to fight Islamic terrorist activities in neighbouring Mozambique.
“The spread of terrorism and intensification of old conflicts on the African continent and throughout the world have been a setback to our quest to “silence the guns,” he said.
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“In southern Africa, we remain seized with insecurity and terrorist insurgency in northern parts of Cabo Delgado (Mozambique) and conflicts in parts of the Great Lakes Region.
“Emboldened by our Sadc regional philosophy that ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’, we continue to pool our resources to fight terrorism and other threats to peace, security and stability in our region. We appeal to the United Nations to render the requisite support to our efforts to restore peace in the affected areas,” he added.
Meanwhile, two Zimbabwean nationals have been selected to champion the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Activist and You Tuber Varaidzo Kativhu and HIV/Aids advocate Paul Ndlovu are now part of the UN flagship initiative of the Office of the Secretary General’s envoy on youth, which recognises exceptional young people around the world.
They were selected alongside 15 other young people from across the globe.
“This next cohort of young leaders for the SDGs hail from all corners of the world and work across all pillars of the UN, including sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security,” the UN said.
“The group who are all between the ages of 17 and 29 years old include an aspiring astronaut, medical doctor and fashion designer, paralympic medalist, poet, artists, climate entrepreneurs, peacebuilders, gender justice advocates, and education innovators, among others.”
UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake said: “Even amid the ongoing pandemic, climate crisis and global instability, these young people demonstrate immense resilience, resourcefulness and leadership in finding innovative solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.”
Since its launch in 2016, the initiative has collectively reached millions of young people around the world.
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