War veterans, churches pledge to reinforce peace

War veterans, churches pledge to reinforce peace

Source: War veterans, churches pledge to reinforce peace – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      11 March 2017

HARARE – War veterans, churches and rights groups wound up a crucial
election meeting last week with a promise to restore peace and dignity to
Zimbabwe, scarred by violent previous polls.

Drawing wide support for a pledge to impose peace after previous elections
plunged Zimbabwe into election-related chaos, war veterans with a
reputation for toughness, pledged to build peace ahead of the
keenly-watched 2018 do-or-die election.

Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP) director Wilson Nharingo said his
organisation was formed in 2000 as a response to a wave of violence,
lawlessness and anarchy that gripped the country then due to the land
invasions and the elections that were about to take place.

“These former senior commanders sat down, discussed and agreed that what
was happening was a negation of the liberation struggle ideals.

“This was a deviation from the principles that enabled the waging of the
liberation struggle.”

He said the ZLP was working to engage the other entity of former freedom
fighters, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association
(ZNLWVA), in its wish to reshape former liberation fighters into peace
ambassadors in Zimbabwe.

“Who else other than the war veteran can convince the rogue war veterans
that what they are doing is bad?” Nharingo asked in solidarity remarks at
the recent ZimRights Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Harare.

Kenneth Mtata, the general secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches
(ZCC) said: “Human rights are the infrastructure of human dignity.

“All Zimbabweans, including those who are running this country . . .
including political parties …including the police, everyone must believe
and value the dignity of the individual.

“It is only when we have realised that we would have succeeded to serve
our purpose.”

Zimbabwe NGO Human Rights Forum (NGO Forum) director Lloyd Kuvheya praised
ZimRights for teaching communities about the new Constitution.

“We have a new Constitution that we got in 2013 which has an expanded Bill
of Rights.

“More critically, (we have) the National Peace and Reconciliation
Commission that is meant to address the legacy of violence that we now
want to get away from as we move towards a new peaceful and prosperous
Zimbabwe.”

ZimRights director Okay Machisa said: “Our importance to the communities
is that we want to see peace. The war we are going to fight is to defend
human rights.”

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