By Fidelis Munyoro
President Mnangagwa yesterday said violence and intolerance have no place in the Second Republic, and condemned barbaric acts by MDC-Alliance that left six people dead after the opposition party leaders incited supporters to go on a rampage after losing the July 30 harmonised elections to Zanu-PF.
Zanu-PF thumped the MDC-Alliance, amassing 145 seats to the alliance’s 63 in the 210-member National Assembly with President Mnangagwa winning the Presidency with 50.8 percent of the votes cast.
The other two seats went to Mr Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo of the Mugabe project, the National Patriotic Front and independent candidate Mr Temba Mliswa who retained his Norton seat.
The violent incidents also left many people injured, while several cars were burnt and property damaged.
Addressing thousands of people gathered at the National Sports Stadium to celebrate the 38th Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day, President Mnangagwa once again extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and relatives of the victims of the politically motivated violence.
“We strongly condemn these barbaric acts of violence,” he said.
“Let me once again state that intolerance has no place in the new Zimbabwe, in our Second Republic. We continue to call for restraint, peace and more peace throughout the country.”
President Mnangagwa stressed that the new dispensation unlocked the country’s democratic and economic space and proved that Zimbabwe has matured.
“This, however, should never be abused,” he said, emphasising, “Let us bury our political differences and focus on rebuilding a prosperous Zimbabwe as one family.”
President Mnangagwa, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, commended the ZDF for raising the country’s flag high in the exercise of their duties in the region and internationally.
He said the armed forces remained a source of inspiration and national pride throughout their 38 years of existence and operations.
“While you have maintained peace and security in this country, at the same time you have contributed to global peace, security and harmony through your involvement in regional and international peace-keeping missions,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said as part of the constitutionally enshrined mandate, the defence forces would continue to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security, interests and territorial integrity.
He commended the defence forces for supporting other sister security forces like the Zimbabwe Republic Police, in curbing the economic haemorrhaging through corruption, illegal border crossing activities and smuggling of illegal imports.
“Their sterling work, inside and beyond our borders, must be celebrated and applauded,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also applauded the ZDF for carrying out various corporate social responsibility activities and programmes in all the country’s 10 provinces.
“The ZDF is providing civil assistance to ministries in all the country’s 10 provinces, as well as various community projects,” he said.
“These projects included construction of school classroom blocks, clinics, hospitals and bridges, among other infrastructure developments.”
In addition, President Mnangagwa said the defence forces, working with the Civil Protection Unit, also provided logistical, food and medical assistance to victims of natural disasters, especially in the country’s flood-prone low lying areas.
“To this end, our forces continue to showcase that they are a people’s force and committed to serve the nation,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his administration was committed to progressively and comprehensively address the conditions of service of defence forces, including their housing needs.
He hailed commanders of the ZDF for their astute leadership and guidance to the country’s defence forces and all officers, men and women of the ZDF to remain resolute, and to diligently and professionally execute their duty to defend the nation.