Let’s Maintain Peace Ahead of Elections

It is 12 days before the nation votes in the harmonised elections slated for July 30. We applaud Zimbabweans for the maturity they have shown in the run-up to this election.

So peaceful has been the electoral environment so far, save for the terrorist attack on President Mnangagwa and the Zanu-PF leadership at White City Stadium in Bulawayo last month that killed two and injured over 47. The peaceful environment, as aptly captured by Chief Dandawa of Hurungwe yesterday at a rally addressed by President Mnangagwa in Chinhoyi, had never been experienced in the history of this country.

“Starting from independence we have been having disturbances in our elections, but from the time you spoke about peace we have not had that (violence) in our areas. We have never seen such peace,” remarked Chief Dandawa.

We note that the peaceful environment is not confined to Hurungwe. It is universal and historic.

We applaud Zimbabweans for displaying this political maturity at a time when all eyes are on us as a nation. All eyes are on us for obvious reasons — this is the first election since independence we are holding minus Mr Robert Mugabe — whose legacy of pre-election violence is undisputed.

The whole world wants to see if the new administration under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa is walking the talk on reforming an electoral environment long poisoned by intimidation, violence and closed democratic space.

We confirm that indeed President Mnangagwa and his Government have levelled the electoral playing field in a manner not even the opposition had anticipated.

There is no violence related to this election.

All political parties have equal access to the media including the national broadcaster — the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Government has invited the world to observe the election including countries and organisation hitherto seen as hostile to the nation’s cause.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has stretched itself too far to accommodate every political player in the plebiscite.

ZEC has also invited political parties to Fidelity Printers where the ballots would be printed and witnessed the process recently. These and other changes by the new administration to electoral field are visible to any patriotic Zimbabwean whose love for the motherland is immeasurable.

We, however, note the existence of some elements bent on derailing the democracy train operated by President Mnangagwa and his administration. So uncultured are these elements to an extent of coalescing and cohabiting with the old order in the form of the G40 cabal and Mr Mugabe to destabilise the country ahead of the most peaceful election of our time.

In this vile bid, the opposition under the MDC-Alliance has been churning threats after threats to destabilise the country. They speak chaos.

They speak violence in an environment where there is none. They are trying to incite the region to see what does not exist — uneven electoral playing field.

Only yesterday MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa indicated he was sending envoys to Sadc to advocate an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe. Equally, we also note that some well-known elements within the G40 cabal have upped abuse of the ZEC chairperson and the person of President Mnangagwa ahead of the election by manufacturing lies all in a bid to tarnish his image.

This is clear testimony that the opposition no longer has tangible complaints against ZEC related to this election and has immaturely changed tactic. Why would a party boasting winning an election before it is even held waste so much time mobilising people for destabilisation?

Why would it go to bed with an old order in the form and shape of Mr Mugabe and his wife, Grace? Why would it waste the meagre resources it has sending envoys into the region to raise non-existing issues? It is clear.

And true to his word, President Mnangagwa and his Government are fast working on the economy for the benefit of all. Roads are being rehabilitated everywhere. Blood is now for free in Government hospitals. Investors are scrambling creating employment opportunities for youths.

Production in farms has upped as evidenced by the over 230 million kg of tobacco sold so far.

The country is no longer importing maize for consumption courtesy of Command Agriculture while our beef herd is set to increase owing to the heifers Government is giving to farmers.

Zimbabweans can only complement these efforts by being peaceful especially as we head for a crucial election on July 30.

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