President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for political tolerance among politicians ahead of the 2023 elections.
He made the call while delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the new multimillion-dollar six-story Parliament building gifted by China. He said:
Political players, seeking the people’s mandate during the upcoming 2023 elections must maintain and consolidate the peace, unity, harmony, and love that we have built under the second republic. Violent confrontations have never been part of our culture.
Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold harmonized elections sometime in 2023.
Reports of intra-party and interparty violence have been rising since March this year when by-elections were held for several posts that were vacant.
The opposition Citizens Coalition for Change led by Nelson Chamisa, a former Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services claims that the ruling ZANU PF has been attacking and murdering its people to intimidate them ahead of elections.
One of the unresolved cases is that of slain CCC activist Moreblessing Ali who was abducted and killed earlier this year.
Her remains are yet to be buried amid reports that her family is in hiding following threats from suspected ZANU PF members.
Mnangagwa’s remarks come after some of his lieutenants, including former Minister of State Security, Owen Ncube, threatened that 2023 could be worse than 2008.
In 2008, the ruling ZANU PF in collaboration with state security forces allegedly attacked and killed several opposition MDC members in the run-up to the run-off election.
Analysts have warned the 2023 poll could be one of the disputed elections if violence continues to escalate.