President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabweans should be united and peaceful as the country gears for the 2023 harmonised elections.
His remarks come on the back of political violence that has gripped the country as parties campaign for support for next year’s elections.
Last week, the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) claimed that there were plans to assassinate its leader, Nelson Chamisa after a suspected petrol bomb exploded at the party’s thank you rally in Chinhoyi.
The explosion came barely a month after alleged ZANU PF activists reportedly disrupted another CCC scheduled rally in Gokwe-Kabuyuni and attacked Chamisa’s convoy, leaving many people injured.
Speaking at the burial of Brigadier General Charles Kaneta on Saturday, Mnangagwa said politics should not manifest as violence and hate. He said:
As 2023 elections beckon, let us remain united and peaceful as Zimbabweans across political and social spectrum. We must never allow political contestations to degenerate into violence and hate. I commend churches and all religious organisations for praying and interceding for our nation as well as other national institutions that are advancing peace, harmony and prosperity In our nation.
President Mnangagwa’s administration has been accused of ignoring violence against opposition figures, but rather further perpetuating it.
The escalating violence has also increased fears that Zimbabwe could hold a disputed election.
The United Nations Human Rights Office, OHCHR, this year expressed concern over the recurrence of disputed elections in Zimbabwe increasing the probability that the southern African country’s 2023 elections will be supervised by the international body.