president robert mugabe 05-09-11.pngHead of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe has implored political parties and their followers to be committed to a violent- free society.

Speaking during the political parties dialogue meeting in Harare this Friday, President Mugabe called on leaders  of the three political parties in the inclusive government to go down to grassroots levels and preach the gospel of peace and co-existence.

 

“We may talk here and say no to violence, but as long as that does not translate into an accepted humanitarian way down the ladder, there will continue to be violence,” he said.

 

 

 

It was indeed a historic day for the country as the three principals in the inclusive government gathered at a local hotel in the capital to discuss ways and means of stopping violence among their followers.

Cde Mugabe told the gathering which included the three parties’ top leadership that Zimbabweans should learn to tolerate one another irrespective of political, religious and other affiliations as they belong to one country which has a common flag and a common anthem as well as a shared history.

He explained that differences in political parties and ideological paths should not turn the nationals of one country into enemies.

 

” I may not like that party, but then do we have to fight over that? Yes, you would want support, but you should not compel it, because doing so would be to trample on the rights of the one you are coercing.

“We forgave Ian Smith after independence how can we fail to forgive our own black brothers….,” said the President.

The President spoke about the need for every citizen of Zimbabwe to fully enjoy their individual rights without being hampered by others who may not share the same views, saying it is for these freedoms and rights that the struggle for independence was fought.

Cde Mugabe noted that despite their differences in ideology and political paths, his attitude towards former opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has improved since the formation of the inclusive government saying the same spirit should cascade down to lower echelons of the political parties to promote peace and stability in the country.

 

“Let us try to get our two groups together. Yes, we have areas where we differ, but we do not look at each other in the same way as we did before the inclusive government was formed. We now tolerate each other,” the President said.

Cde Mugabe expressed surprise that the spirit of violence has of late grabbed even churches citing the Anglican Church which is currently torn apart in a wrangle between some leaders in the church.

President Mugabe spoke strongly against political parties attacking the police saying such behaviour gives the country a bad name and image though citizens have a right to complain against the force should they feel that they have not acted accordingly.

Cde Mugabe noted that although some parties have been accusing the police of fanning or condoning violence, they have been barring them from their meetings only to call them after the eruption of violence, thus making it difficult for law enforcing agents to ascertain who would have started the violence.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the two MDC formations say there is urgent need for the gospel of peace to cascade down to the grassroots which is still heavily polarised.

In his address at the violence indaba, MDC-T leader, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai admitted that the political leadership in Zimbabwe enjoys cordial relations though they differ in political ideology, hence the need to ensure that their supporters appreciate peaceful co-existence.

 

“Whatever the decisions we make on behalf of the people we represent, I hope we will be able to stare history in the face and be proud that we discharged our duties to the best of interests of the people of Zimbabwe. We have graduated from being political enemies to political opponents, which everyone here and below must emulate,” said Mr. Tsvangirai.

MDC leader, Professor Welshman Ncube said the meeting of the political parties at the highest level is a clear demonstration of the commitment of the principals’ sincerity in maintaining peace and stability in the country.

 

“I believe that the state organs that we constitute should always work towards helping us achieve this vision of a peaceful, tolerant Zimbabwe,” said Professor Ncube.

The three leaders of the three main political parties namely, President Robert Mugabe, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai and Professor Welshman Ncube collectively condemned political violence in Zimbabwe.

The country has witnessed spates of violence during the past few weeks with allegations that some political leaders preach peace publicly and clandestinely sponsor violence.

The last few weeks have seen an eruption of violence in Hatcliffe, Chitungwiza and Harare’s Central Business District.

 

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