Peace message charts path to national prosperity
Unwavering commitment to peace and unity by the President Mnangagwa’s is the desired antidote for Zimbabwe to achieve its set goals and objectives and next year’s elections offer Zimbabweans a chance to deepen the democracy and liberties that have been availed by the Second Republic, political actors have said.
Since assuming power in 2017, President Mnangagwa has consistently called for a peaceful existence, even magnanimously opening the door for opposition parties to regular engagements through the Political Actors Dialogue platform.
Even when some political parties spurned the invitation, the door to Polad has remained open — a true reflection of the President’s commitment to unity among Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation.
For the country to develop, and achieve its Vision 2030, to become an upper-middle-class economy, the President has consistently said unity and peace are requisite and railed against violent tendencies that often find form and currency in the opposition.
Again during the country’s Heroes Day and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day commemorations the President, whose Government has earned plaudits for its commitment to both political and economic reforms, preached the peace gospel.
On Monday at the National Heroes Acre, the President said the day is a reminder that Zimbabweans, despite evil machinations from its erstwhile colonisers, are a heroic people, who managed through sweat and blood to liberate the country from the brutal Ian Smith regime and attain majority rule in 1980.
“Our collective ancestry has ingrained in us, the resilient and warrior spirit of our forebearers, who were ingenious innovators, builders, explorers, enterprising traders, and yes, gallant fighters,” he said.
“Our history is one of deep-seated patriotism, perseverance, and ultimately victory. We never give up; we never surrender. Zimbabwe has come a long way as a nation born out of a protracted armed liberation struggle, and we have scored victory upon victory since the attainment of our hard-won independence in 1980. Today, we stand tall among the liberated and independent peoples of the world, as masters of our own destiny,” he said.
“We are marching on and consolidating our unity, peace, and freedom in fulfilment of the collective aspirations and vision of our heroes and heroines. Yesteryear gallant men and women selflessly chose to join the liberation struggle against the oppressive colonial white settler regime. Forty-two years after the raising of our sacred National Flag, we remain motivated to ultimately transform Zimbabwe into a modern, industrialised and prosperous society,” said the President.
In line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 67(2) (b) and (c) emphasise that electoral processes should be conducted in a peaceful manner, President Mnangagwa has been steadfast in preaching peace.
Because of the prevailing peace, Zimbabwe is presently witnessing unprecedented economic growth, with projections pointing to the country achieving its 2030 vision.
At the centre of rapid industrialisation and modernisation are Zimbabweans, who are harnessing their talents to construct roads, dams and other infrastructure in response to the enabling peaceful environment that has been ushered by the Second Republic.
This is a fulfilment of President Mnangagwa’s crystal clear philosophy that “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” with foreign investors coming in to fill the gaps, and bring innovations that will hasten the country’s modernisation.
In that regard, the country has registered an increase in the number of investors, even from countries that imposed illegal sanctions on the country, as there are attracted to the ease of doing business environment and of course the prevailing peace.
In his address to the nation on ZDF Day, the President again reiterated his call for Zimbabweans to maintain peace even as the country goes towards the 2023 harmonised elections, a season that is regarded the world over as particularly volatile.
“As the 2023 Harmonised General Elections beckon, I call upon all Zimbabweans to be vigilant and maintain the stable and peaceful environment that is being fostered under the Second Republic. Say no to violence, disunity, divisions and unrest.”
In interviews, analysts and political players said the onus is now on every Zimbabwean to heed the President’s message of peace, preserve it and put shoulder to the wheel in the transformative building of Zimbabwe towards an upper-middle-income status.
Leader of the Republican Party of Zimbabwe Mr Kwanele Hlabangana said President Mnangagwa is leading by example, demonstrating true leadership.
“As a political leader, I am very encouraged by the emphatic message of peace, unity and tolerance from His Excellency, President Mnangagwa as the nation draws closer to the next harmonised elections scheduled for 2023.
“It is therefore befitting that His Excellency has demonstrated responsible leadership by publicly declaring to the nation that peace and love should be the hallmark of our electoral processes.
“Zimbabwe is well known as a peaceful country and as leaders, we should thrive to ensure that we maintain that good record. Political violence should find no space in our politics. We need to respect humanity and continue to preach the message of peace, love, unity and tolerance. Zimbabweans must abstain from intimidation and violence if we are to have peaceful, fair, free and credible elections.
“We can differ in political ideologies but the common denominator is that we remain Zimbabweans and a one people. Our differences should be addressed through dialogue because that is progressive.”
Political commentator Dr Hamadziripi Dube said the country should embrace the President’s message as it is the path to sustainable development and prosperity.
“The President as the Head of State and First Secretary of the party Zanu PF is asking people from all corners of the country and different parties to preach peace and be peaceful in everything they do. It’s a good calling from the President as a leader of this country. He is giving a way for everyone to follow. He is telling the world that he is the patron of peace in Zimbabwe. He is leading a different Zimbabwe where the President calls for peace in the country and peace campaigning strategies,” said Dr Hamadziripi.
Government Chief Whip Hon Pupurai Togarepi said the President’s message is loud and clear and must be taken to heart by every Zimbabwean.
“The President as the 1st citizen of our country showed leadership in calling for peaceful coexistence before, during and after elections. This is a welcome message that I am confident will get to the ears of those who believe in the politics of violence. I am sure those among our people who are sponsored by external forces will take heed of the President’s call for peace. In fact, the President is saying to all political parties and their followers we are one people with no need for violence to attain political office. Instigators of violence will face the full wrath of the law. This also tells us that the President is aware of political criminals who always surface during elections to cause mayhem and destruction of property,” said Hon Togarepi.
The spokesperson of the main opposition party, the MDC Mr Witness Dube said the President had set the tone.
“We firmly support this initiative from the country and Zanu PF president, hopefully everyone will embrace that message of peace,” said Mr Dube.
Political analyst Mr Collin Mharadzano said the peace message from the President exudes the consistency which has been the hallmark of the Second Republic.
“A peaceful country is conducive to all developmental initiatives of its own people and foreigners. Elections are seasonal hence this emphasis is indeed welcome. All those who are found wanting or having been found wanting with regards to the perpetration of violence should be locked behind bars for long. Let them be permanently removed from society for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. His Excellency the President Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa should be applauded for his forthright leadership and his now accepted concept and philosophy of leaving no one and no place behind.”
In the spirit of development that leaves no one and no place behind, the leader of New Patriotic Front Mr Welcome Shumba, who is a member of Polad, said the President is leading by example.
“The President’s call against violence is a right call and we all should applaud it, during the rule of the First Republic, we used to have incidents of violence, especially in rural areas, now we have the First Citizen coming up and preaching peace, this tallies with what he created, the Political Actors Dialogue, a first of its kind in Africa. This unites the nation, if people see opposing sides coming together to discuss national issues, this inspires confidence in the populace. It promotes peace and unity in our country. You see our colonisers have a bag of tricks to sponsor some political parties, we should always remember that none but ourselves will take the country to prosperity,” said Mr Shumba.
Academic and researcher Mr Alex Manyonga said peace goes beyond the silence of arms and is process driven.
“President Mnangagwa’s peace drill ahead of the 2023 harmonised election is a solid foundation for peace. From a Confucianist point of view, a good leader is like a pole star that remains bright when all other stars have dipped. As other political elements and individuals foster violence as a means to their selfish political meals, President Mnangagwa has set the peace tone ahead of 2023 harmonised elections. As the constitutional leader of the Republic of Zimbabwe, it is highly commendable that he condemned violence and all its accomplices. Of interest is the fact that violence is violence irrespective of who have instituted it.”