Police warn against hate speech

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

POLICE have warned leaders from across the political divide to desist from using hate speech during campaign rallies to de-escalate tension as the country moves towards the elections.

The warning comes at a time when the country continues to witness high levels of political violence and intolerance among party supporters.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said party leaders had a duty to de-escalate tension by preaching peace and tolerance at their campaign rallies.

“I want to say to our parliamentarians, as you conduct your campaigns, lead us but lead us by example. Be exemplary in your language,” Nyathi said on Tuesday during an engagement with journalists in the capital.

“As the police we have a challenge with some of the language used by our politicians. Yes, we want to get support, yes we want to entice supporters but let us be responsible."

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he will announce election dates at the end of the month.

Election watchdogs have, however, warned that the country is heading towards a violent election.

The run-up to lasy year’s March by-elections were marred by violence.

The violence left one Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporter, Mboneni Ncube, dead.

Nyathi said political violence was not necessary.

“We will remain Zimbabweans whatever our differences. We will remain Zimbabweans, so let us not incite violence,” he added.

“The moment we do that we are contributing towards peace and towards the maintenance of law and order in the country.”

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