Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Every Zimbabwean has a responsibility to ensure that elections are held in a peaceful environment, Acting President Phelekhezela Mphoko has said.
Acting President Mphoko said this in the National Assembly yesterday while responding to a question by Harare Central representative Mr Murisi Zwizwai on what Government was doing to ensure the 2018 elections were held in a peaceful environment.
“The structures we have (to prevent violence) are all of us here,” he said. “We all have a responsibility to do the right thing. People can conduct elections without fighting.
“We all have a responsibility to carry out our elections peacefully.”
Acting President Mphoko, who is also responsible for national healing, said there were plans to ensure that victims of the disturbances that took place in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces would be given decent burials.
He said his office was working with the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that children in the affected regions without birth certificates were registered.
Meanwhile, legislators from across the political divide yesterday condemned xenophobic attacks happening in South Africa against nationals from other African countries and called on the South African government to take immediate action to safeguard foreigners.
The MPs said this while debating a special motion moved by Mabvuku legislator Mr James Maridadi (MDC-T).
Mr Maridadi said it was regrettable that South Africans were attacking other Africans, yet many countries sacrificed to ensure its independence from the racist apartheid regime.
“South Africa is what it is today because of the Frontline States countries and one of them is Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Maridadi added that Zimbabwe suffered attacks from the apartheid regime for housing African National Congress cadres as a sign of its commitment to South Africa’s quest for independence.
He slammed Johannesburg mayor Mr Herman Mashaba for issuing inflammatory statements that encouraged xenophobia.
Mr Mashaba reportedly said migrants would have to get proper documentation before they could receive protection from Johannesburg authorities.
Chegutu West representative Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF), said it was ironical that South Africa had hosted signing ceremonies of various treaties against xenophobia and discrimination.
“A number of protocols against discrimination and xenophobia were enacted in South Africa like the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action,” he said. “It is a shame that today we stand here and try to encourage them to comply with protocols that were enacted in their country.”
Buhera West representative Cde Oliver Mandipaka (Zanu-PF), said South Africa owed Zimbabwe for the benefits it had accrued from its labour force.
“South Africa should exercise restraint,” he said. “In any event, South Africans owe us a lot. We have given them our skills, our competences and we have contributed a lot to their economy.
“Yes, today our economy is not performing, but tomorrow it could be them (coming to Zimbabwe for work).”