THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has disclosed that 21 of the 23 presidential candidates in the June 30 elections have signed the peace pledge, which compels political parties to campaign peacefully and undertake to accept the election outcome.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Parties that have not signed the pledge are #1980 Freedom Movement and the People’s Progress Party Zimbabwe.
NPRC commissioner Charles Masunungure said the peace pledge will require political leaders that appended their signatures to challenge the results through due process of the law if there is a dispute.
“The political parties should ensure that all citizens’ rights to freedom of expression, personal choice and secrecy of the ballot are guaranteed and refrain from inducing fear in citizens, hate speech, and publicly campaign against all forms of violence, intimidation, force, undue influence, reprisals and other electoral malpractices,” Masunungure said in a statement.
“The parties should individually and collectively promote a climate of peace and tolerance in all electoral processes and respect the rights of all political parties, candidates and stakeholders to freely canvas and campaign.”
He said the peace pledge would compel parties to take disciplinary measures in case of non-compliance with the code of conduct by party candidates, members or supporters.
“They should work with institutions and processes prescribed in the code of conduct to resolve disputes through dialogue and collaborate with law enforcement agents and judicial authorities to prevent and penalise electoral offenders as provided for by the Electoral Act,” Masunungure said.
He said the peace pledge also calls for equitable access to the public and private media for all political parties.
“In the peace pledge, political parties must respect the rights of all citizens; in particular women and children, and take a definitive stand against electoral violence, intimidation, hate speech before, during and after elections,” the NPRC commissioner said.