In a move to achieve free, fair, credible and peaceful elections in the fast approaching 2023 elections scheduled for August 3, churches and political parties have signed a peace pledge.
The signing of the peace pledge was signed on Friday, by churches and political parties as a sign of their commitment to maintaining peace, before during and after elections.
Commenting on the signing of the pledge, the Embassy of Britain said that the development comes handy citing that the pledge will go a long way in the promotion of peace by political parties and actors in a bid to allow the citizens to participate freely in the upcoming national elections.
“We welcome the signing of a Peace Pledge by parties and church leaders today. Important this is upheld so citizens can campaign freely without fear of violence,” said the embassy.
The embassy further added that it condemns reports of political violence which have been received coming from several areas across the political divide in the country in the build up to national elections.
“We’re concerned by reports of political violence ahead of elections, and echo the calls for peace from political parties,” the embassy revealed.
The pledge brings together Zimbabwe political parties, churches and candidates to pledge for peaceful, free, fair and credible elections as it makes them cognizant of the Constitutional obligations to ensure that the elections are peaceful, free, fair and credible and desire to promote national cohesion, unity, peace while recognizing their responsibility as leaders of political parties as well as candidates to fully respect the democratic right of every Zimbabwean to freely choose their leaders in a peaceful and informed manner.
Among other things the peace pledge allows the law enforcers to take disciplinary measures in case of non-compliance with the Code of Conduct by party candidates, members or supporters; work with institutions and processes prescribed in the Code of Conduct to resolve disputes through dialogue and collaborate with law enforcement agents and judicial authorities to prevent and penalize electoral offenders as provided for by the Electoral Act.
It also condemns all individuals, organizations and associations that formally or informally conduct political activities which infringe on the commitments of the Code of Conduct and threaten peaceful and credible elections.
Politicians are to individually and collectively promote a climate of peace and tolerance in all electoral processes and respect the rights of all political parties, candidates and stakeholders to freely canvas and campaign.
They are also obliged to refrain from inducing fear in citizens, hate speech and publicly campaign against all forms of violence, intimidation, force, undue influence, reprisals and all other electoral malpractices Zimbabwe is set to hold its national elections this month with 11 candidates in the presidential race vying for the top office on the land including the main Opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Nelson Chamisa and President Mnangagwa