Zimbabwean Pres preaches peace ahead of election …political leaders urged to desist from hate speeches as poll nears

Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa (right) and Kofi Annan

Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa (right) and Kofi Annan

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday reminded ruling party ZANU-PF supporters to shun political violence as the party is looking forward to a clean and violence-free victory in the July 30 election.

 

Addressing thousands of supporters at a rally in Marondera, Mashonaland East Province, Mnangagwa said ZANU-PF is too big a party to be concerned with small parties.

 

“Why should we have violence? We are a big party, why should we bother about those who waste time demonstrating? We want this electoral process to be without any violence,” he said.

 

Mnangagwa started his address by explaining to the crowd the programmes that the ruling party is planning to implement in the next five years and beyond.

 

He said these include massive power and mining projects.

 

He said the government will prioritise modernising agriculture to ensure resettled farmers increase production.

 

Mnangagwa also promised to re-integrate Zimbabwe back into the international community following years of isolation.

The Elders on Saturday wrapped up their three-day visit to Zimbabwe ahead of the July 30 visit and urged mature political campaigning devoid of hate speech as the poll nears.

 

While rallying Zimbabweans to vote in numbers in the polls, the Elders urged Zimbabweans to put the national interest first, reject all forms of violence and work together to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.

 

Head of the three-member delegation, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a media conference the upcoming poll was crucial for Zimbabwe.

 

“This is a crucial election for the country, perhaps as crucial as the first election following independence (in 1980),” he said.

 

“You are at crossroads and the direction you will decide to move in is going to be extremely important and every Zimbabwean should vote, express their views and not sit back at home and complain after the elections,” Annan said.

 

The Elders is a grouping of eminent global leaders working to promote world peace and human rights.

 

Annan was accompanied by former Ireland President Mary Robinson and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi.

 

During their visit, the leaders met President Emmerson Mnangagwa, opposition leaders, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials, diplomats and civil society groups, among other stakeholders.

 

Annan hailed the improvement in fundamental freedoms obtaining in the country since end of 2017 and President Mnangagwa’s repeated emphasis on free and fair polls.-Xinhua

 

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