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‘Negative peace afflicting Zim’

Local News
ZIMBABWE has known no real peace more than 40 years after attaining independence, Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) national director Perlagia Kapuya has said.

ZIMBABWE has known no real peace more than 40 years after attaining independence, Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) national director Perlagia Kapuya has said.

Speaking during the International Day of Living together in Peace commemorated in Mutasa district ward 10 last weeked, Kapuya called for the reinstatement of a peaceful environment punctuated by tolerance.

She said the commemorations served as a powerful reminder of unity, understanding and mutual respect in a country where conflict, discrimination and inequality ruled supreme.

“We recognise that peace is not simply the absence of war, which we do not have here in Zimbabwe, but a state of being that allows us all to thrive, grow and reach our full potential as individuals, as a community and as a country.

“This day calls [on] us to be more tolerant to people who think differently from us, to be more inclusive such as making sure everyone has an opportunity, persons with disabilities, young people, women, men and other categories of people who are usually left out,” she said.

Kapuya said communities should build bridges and shun political violence, corruption, discrimination and intimidation.

“Working together for peace means using dialogue to resolve conflicts in families and communities. Fighting or beating each other is not the solution, abusing each other’s rights and freedoms because of our power in politics, at work or in the community works against this agenda of living together in peace and it affects our development as a country,” she said.

“At the Zimbabwe Peace Project we believe that human rights are for everyone and no one is above the law and that if we all play our part to protect each other’s right we will have a peaceful and better community.”

Heal Zimbabwe Trust advocacy officer Tapiwanashe Chiriga said Zimbabweans were generally a peaceful people with disturbances recorded during election seasons mostly.

“However, Zimbabwe as a country is experiencing negative peace instead of positive peace which is anchored on the eight pillars of a well-functioning government including sound business environment; equitable distribution of resources; Acceptance of the rights of others; good relations with neighbours; high levels of human capital development; free flow of information as well as low levels of corruption,” he said.

Chiriga said Zimbabwe had, however, failed to meet these basic pillars because of a toxic political culture that perpetuates political intolerance, human rights abuses and weak institutions.

“To build peace and a culture of living together in harmony would require a government to take the lead in uniting the country and ensuring that Zimbabwe lives up to pillars of positive peace aforementioned,” he said

Chiriga also called on Zimbabweans to respect differences.

The United Nations declared that the International Day of Living together in Peace be celebrated every year on May 16 as a means of regularly mobilising the efforts to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.

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