HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been challenged to maintain peace and justice by averting a repeat of the previous violence in the country’s forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections.
This comes as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) joined other civil society organisations under the church-led Zimbabwe Divine Destiny (ZDD) during a march on April 13 to launch a nationwide peace campaign in Harare.
ZDD chairperson Ancelimo Magaya challenged Mnangagwa, who has repeatedly promised free, fair and credible elections after the military-backed ouster of former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017 to walk the talk.
“You are the custodian of peace and justice — walk the talk. Ensure that there is no violence by demonstrating it and putting in place structures that will ensure there will be peace and justice,” Magaya said in a message meant for Mnangagwa.
Magaya challenged religious leaders to be principled and advance human rights, peace and justice rather than being manipulated by politicians to turn a blind eye to human rights violations.
“In obedience to the Word of God, I would rather be a Samaritan whom the Bible calls good than be a priest who will run away from a person who has been murdered and not associate with a person who has been beaten on account of politics. We witnessed a dark chapter in our politics, and today, 10 years later, we are commemorating that dark chapter of 2008,” he said.
ZimRights senior programmes officer Leo Chamahwinya said the people of Zimbabwe knew that they needed peace, development, respect for human rights, end to corruption and free and fair elections, and politicians should respect the people’s wishes.
“The Bible tells us that faith without works is empty,” said Chamahwinya.
“We urge all people to participate in the forthcoming elections in peace and to be tolerant, knowing and respecting each other’s human rights. We want to tell the Government of Zimbabwe that the people of Zimbabwe know what they want. The people … want peace;… free and fair elections; the people … don’t want corruption and the people of Zimbabwe want to coexist peacefully.”