Zimbabwe peaceful polls possible

THE curtain comes down on the Seventh Parliament next Saturday, paving the way for intense election campaigns as MPs seek a fresh mandate from the people.

Southern Eye Editorial

Judging from the internal elections for the major parties in the country, prospects are high that the next Parliament might be dominated by new faces.

Away from the bickering between Zanu PF and the MDC formations in the inclusive government over the timing of the harmonised elections, it is clear that Zimbabwe is in an election mode.

The two MDC formations were expected to conclude their primary elections this weekend while Zanu PF will be rolling out its own process starting Wednesday.

The list of the Zanu PF aspiring candidates who will slug it out in the polls has raised prospects of bruising contests throughout the country. Adding to the intrigue being served by the primaries, the Constitutional Court is this week expected to deliver judgments in a couple of cases brought by the government and ordinary citizens, which will have a bearing on the polls.

However, the ongoing selection of candidates by different parties is an indication that despite the uncertainty of the July 31 poll date, the election season is upon us.

Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to appeal to all Zimbabweans to campaign peacefully and refuse to be used by parties to harm others for political reasons.

The ghost of the shameful 2008 presidential runoff election is still with us and the forthcoming polls present Zimbabweans with a golden opportunity to turn the corner.

A violence-free election will again set Zimbabwe on an economic growth trajectory and cleanse the country’s tattered image.

The United Nations World Tourism General Assembly that Zimbabwe is due to co-host with Zambia in August, could not have come at a better time because a violence-free election will be the seal of approval that this country needs to demonstrate it has cast out its demons.

Tourists would then start trekking back just like they did before violence became synonymous in 2000 with our elections.

The onus is now on political leaders to ensure that Zimbabwe’s name is not dragged through the mud again by criminals masquerading as politicians.

President Robert Mugabe as the Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces must also be aware of reports that there are some in the security forces planning to use violence to mobilise support for his Zanu PF.

For once, the Zanu PF leader must rise above politics and ensure that soldiers are confined to the barracks.

A peaceful election is still possible and Zimbabweans must get it.

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