THE opposition Citizens Coalitions for Change (CCC) has proposed that the country must craft a national peace pledge targeting political parties before next year’s polls to ensure they are peaceful.
Zimbabwe has since the March 26 by-elections and others that followed been experiencing violence during the campaign period.
In March, CCC activist Mboneni Ncube was murdered by suspected Zanu PF activists at a rally addressed by party leader Nelson Chamisa in Kwekwe. CCC proportional representation MP Jasmine Toffa was also brutally attacked by suspected Zanu PF supporters while campaigning for the opposition in Insiza, Matabeleland North last week.
CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba yesterday told NewsDay that the proposed peace pledge would help to achieve peaceful polls next year.
“Our president Nelson Chamisa is proposing a national peace pledge targeting different stakeholders who will be involved in electoral processes. We are targeting everyone including observers and electoral watchdogs,” Siziba said.
But the ruling Zanu PF party rubbished CCC suggestions saying the party led by Chamisa must first concede 2018 presidential election defeat before talking about peace pledges.
Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said: “As Zanu PF, we have always loved peace. On CCC’s suggestions of a national peace pledge, I don’t think we will be part of it unless they concede defeat in the 2018 Presidential elections — that is the only sticking point. They should just concede defeat.”
In 2018, Chamisa refused to concede electoral defeat to Zanu PF candidate President Emmerson Mnangagwa claiming that the elections were rigged.
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MDC-Alliance spokesperson Witness Dube said the national peace pledge was appropriate.
“The national peace pledge is in line with our thinking. We have said any political party or stakeholders that want to come up with a national peace pledge — we are willing to join them for the sake of peaceful elections,” Dube said.
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) spokesperson Obert Gutu said: “Whenever people talk about peace, we are always happy. We have launched the national peace pledge before, which targeted various stakeholders. We appreciate political parties which always advocate for peace because peace building is our constitutional mandate as NPRC. Our priority is to target political players.”