zwnews.com Political Reporter
The latest findings by Afrobarometer indicate that 64 percent of urban dwellers and 46 percent of rural people say they fear political intimidation or violence during election campaigns, with women fears scoring 58 percent than man at 47 percent expressing such fears.
This comes at the wake of hate speech by political leaders in the country particularly the ruling ZANU PF party. Zimbabweans has over the years failed to bear their political differences.
Zimbabwe’s elections have been marred by violence, properties belonging to opposition party members had been destroyed, while some killed and maimed in political sponsored tortures.
“A huge partisan divide exists on this question: MDC-T supporters (69%) and uncommitted respondents (64%) are more than twice as likely as ZANU-PF adherents (28%) to fear becoming victims of political intimidation or violence during election campaigns,” reads a statement by Afrobarometer.
Fears are however, that this may trigger tribal wars as it is regional based on provinces Harare 71, Manicaland 70, Bulawayo 57, and Mashonaland East 53 percent respectively.
Bearing that in mind, Zimbabwe Peace Project has called on President Robert Mugabe, whose party is the chief culprit in unleashing violence to their political foes to respect human rights and promote peace and political tolerance.
ZPP believes that hate speech that intends to degrade, intimidate or incite violence against someone based on political affiliation, race and ethnicity is harmful.
Mugabe and leader of the ruling ZANU PF party kicks off his ‘Meet the youth’ rallies in Marondera on Friday 2, June. The rally is seen as a launch of campaigns for the 2018 elections.
“It comes at a time when there are power contestations that have degenerated into politically motivated violence, the most recent case being the physical confrontations involving youths and war veterans in Bulawayo a week ago,” says ZPP in a statement.
The ZPP is appealing to the President as leader of the ruling party to set the tone of the forthcoming elections. The peace body says it is convinced that leaders of political parties hold the key to whether the elections are laden with violence or not.
“As head of state, 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, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, this would taint the country’s image at the international stage,” says ZPP.
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.
Today’s global community, Zimbabwe included is facing widespread political extremism that accompanies violence with radical views, which has become a great concern on stability and prosperity of the globe.
Meanwhile, according to the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO under the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI), violence and extremism is a cancer threatening to wipe mankind from existence.
The body urges international governments, Zimbabwe included to always respect the universal right to a safe and peaceful world order, by employing political tolerance and constructive criticism, where necessary with a rehabilitator undertone in mind.
HWPL believes it is important that organisations, institutions, governments, even the private and public sector to create an environment in which the world citizens live freely, with equal opportunities.
This UN DPI arm’s Chairman Man Hee Lee commenting on this universal basic human right that seeks to guarantee people’s freedoms, called for a holistic approach and global cooperation on sustainable peace building by all nations under the UN.
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