9 July 2018

Zimbabwe Enjoying Rare Pre-Election Peace

Harare — A PEACEFUL atmosphere is prevailing ahead of watershed elections scheduled for Zimbabwe at the end of this month.

Just less than three weeks before the eagerly-anticipated exercise, supporters of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and opposition parties have freely mingled within their communities.

This is in stark contrast to the violence that characterised previous polls when Robert Mugabe was still the president of the Southern African country. Mugabe's administration was also accused of electoral fraud.

"Such an atmosphere where opposition and ruling party activists share jokes, laugh and drink beer together has never prevailed during election time in Mugabe's era," said Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activist, Arnold Mukwazhe, in Harare.

He noted Mugabe used to lambast MDC and other opposition activists as Western-sponsored puppets.

"This is a new dawn. We would love to see this democracy maturing even after the July 30 polls," Mukwazhe said.

Lovemore Kundai, a ZANU-PF activist also in Harare, welcomed the shift to peace after years of violence mainly targeting the MDC.

"I was not involved in violent acts but my colleagues in ZANU PF never wished to see opposition, mainly MDC treated as Zimbabwean citizens," said Kundai.

"MDC was always treated with great suspicion for being a Western-sponsored party, but today, here we are, eating and drinking beer together plus sharing jokes."

The election is again set to be a two-horse race between MDC and ZANU-PF.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (75) faces a stiff challenge from MDC's Nelson Chamisa (40).

Mnangagwa, upon succeeding Mugabe after a military coup last November, called for unity among political rivals to rebuild the nation.

Last month, Zimbabwe's political parties committed to respect a Code of Conduct for the elections.

At the ceremony held in Harare under the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), the parties announced their commitment to prevent acts of violence, fraud and intimidation, as well as a range of offences that marred previous elections.


Fuel Prices Up Again

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) Monday announced new prices of fuel, a move that suggests government is… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: CAJ News

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.