THE Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has urged President Robert Mugabe (pictured) to take advantage of his ongoing Zanu PF provincial youth rallies that began in Marondera last week to encourage political tolerance among youths.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
In a statement, ZPP expressed concern over the sharp increase in cases of political violence ahead of next year’s general elections and appealed to Mugabe to use his rallies to condemn the vice.
“The ZPP is appealing to the President as leader of the ruling party to set the tone of the forthcoming elections. ZPP is convinced that leaders of political parties hold the key to whether the elections are laden with violence or not,” ZPP said.
“In the past the President has condemned political violence and he has also spoken against conflict that is tearing his party apart. As Head of State, President Mugabe has an extra burden of preaching peace and tolerance particularly with the view that these rallies will receive coverage from the sole national broadcaster, ZBC. The image of Zimbabwe has been tainted by previous electoral violence so a message of peace will set the tone for peaceful credible 2018 elections.”
“The audience of these rallies is young people who have been responsible for most of the electoral violence this country has witnessed. The rallies will provide the President the platform to condemn the involvement of young people in acts of political violence. ZPP is worried that tensions in political parties and between political parties may spill into the 2018 elections and therefore appeals to the head of state and government to use the impending 10 rallies as a platform to preach peace and reign in violent party supporters,” the ZPP added.