Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Bureau—
ACTING President Emmerson Mnangagwa has exhorted political parties to exercise restraint and tolerance towards each other in the build-up to the 2018 harmonised elections to ensure a credible outcome. Speaking at the burial of Gweru Diocese Bishop, His Lordship Right Reverend Xavier Munyongani at Driefontein Mission in Chirumhanzu yesterday, Acting President Mnangagwa urged all political parties to abide by set election guidelines, norms, values, principles and the Constitution to make sure that the elections were held in a peaceful environment. He said the harmonised elections should be used as a stepping stone to foster peace and harmony in the country. Acting President Mnangagwa said political parties should abide by laid down parameters and ensure fair play.
“I also exhort all of us from our various political parties to exercise restraint and tolerance towards each other in the build up to the 2018 harmonised elections,” he said.
“To this end, I appeal to you to follow the rules and guidelines for the conduct of harmonised elections to foster peace and harmony.” As the Apostle Paul exhorts in his epistle in 2 Timothy 2 vs 5, Acting President Mnangagwa said, an athlete was not crowned unless he competed according to the rules. “Likewise, whether you are in sport, burial societies or even politics, it is critical to abide by the relevant constitutions, set out guidelines, norms, values and principles of our various associations,” he said.
“For indeed, it is through the adherence to agreed laid down parameters that we ensure peaceful coexistence and harmonious interactions and a united and orderly society.” The church, Acting President Mnangagwa said, had a mammoth yet imperative task of playing its role as the voice of reason in fostering unity and patriotism.
“I am informed that at the beginning of this month, the late Bishop Munyongani called for the protection of the family unit and love if the world was to enjoy peace and harmony, when he was addressing a Catholic couples congress attended by dozens of congregants from provinces across the country,” he said.
“He taught his congregants that love and unity begin in the family and cascades to communities, clans, tribes and eventually the entire nation. This is a clear testimony of the fact that he died still working from the church pulpit, preaching the gospel of love, unity and peaceful coexistence. I, therefore, wish to take this opportunity to urge congregants gathered here today and the nation at large to take a leaf from the message of peace and tolerance exemplified by the life of the man we are laying here to rest today.”