Heal Zimbabwe notes with great concern the increasing political tensions, animosity, celebration of ethnic inspired and politically motivated hate speech by politicians in government. Of greater and more unsettling concern, are the efforts by the conflicting parties within the ruling party to either provoke or incite the country’s security services for their own personal and selfish ends.
We remind government of its constitutional obligation to strive for national unity, peace and stability and of the grave national consequences of hate speech. We appeal to them to desist from fanning divisions through ethnic inspired hate speech among citizens who are already burdened with a history of unresolved politically motivated violence and violations.
We urge the media, both public and private, to report responsibly and in the interest of national peace and tolerance of diversity of opinions. We remind all citizens, especially the media, of how, the experience of Rwanda reminds us so vividly, oftenly and concretely how media can either build peace or contribute to incomprehensible atrocities.
To the citizens, who will ordinarily suffer from a further escalation of the hostilities, we urge calm and maintaining our age old tradition of community, peace and tolerance.
We call upon institutions established in accordance with our constitution such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to promote peace tolerance and respect for human rights to fulfil their constitutional mandate effectively and proactively.
We urge the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe to fulfil his constitutional duties of ‘promoting unity and peace in the nation for the benefit and well being of all Zimbabweans and ensuring the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rule of law.’’
The on-going fights within ZANU PF come at a time when Heal Zimbabwe has intensified its calls for government to effectively set up the NPRC, a commission with a constitutional mandate of facilitating dialogue among political parties, communities, organisations and other groups in order to prevent conflicts and disputes arising in the future.
Heal Zimbabwe urges all political parties to celebrate the diversity of people and communities of Zimbabwe and acknowledge that Zimbabwe is for all who work and live in it.