Let’s deliver a violence-free election

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THE election season is firmly upon us.
There are many things to do and many issues to attend to.
However, chief among them is delivering a free, fair and credible election.
We have matured as Zimbabweans.
We have unity in our country.
We have peace in Zimbabwe.
These attributes have been endorsed by the various pre-election observer missions that have visited the country in the past few months.
President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s clarion call for free and fair elections is critical in many ways.
It compels political parties to take responsibility for their actions.
It entails that they guide their supporters accordingly.
It calls for the parties to ensure their supporters desist from hate speech or provocative utterances against their opponents.
After all, we have a country to protect and defend before, during and after elections.
Elections are a one-day event.
Zimbabwe is in eternal existence.
It should be protected and defended by every Zimbabwean for posterity.
Unity is vital in this regard.
Peace is the glue that binds us together and tolerance is the bridge to a future of more and plenty.
Let us not allow any individual, any incident or any circumstance to destabilise our country.
We should not be divided by any force — internal or external.
It is in times like these that retrogressive forces will try to cause anarchy and despondency.
They will, in this season, attempt to attract unnecessary attention on the country.
We have seen this in the past, where elements in our midst provoke the authorities and others in order to disturb the peace and tranquillity that we enjoy on a daily basis in Zimbabwe.
We should be wary of these rogue elements.
After all, an election is a contest of ideas, policies and programmes.
It is not a mortal combat.
It is not a physical contest.
It is a battle of who delivers to the electorate the most.
I am impressed by the fact that so far, the campaigns by political parties have been conducted in earnest.
Let us maintain that commendable trait.
We should also keep in mind that the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra is for the best.
It is about delivering development that is in our interests as Zimbabweans.
It is about preserving our dignity as the country’s custodians.
It is about protecting our land and natural resources.
All this cannot be achieved if we engage in violence.
We can only improve our country’s worthiness if we give unity credence.
We have come of age.
We have a competitive edge.
We have the land, the resources and the climate.
The July 30 harmonised elections give us an opportunity to show the world we are a mature democracy.
They provide a platform for us to navigate our way out of dependency.
We are a country that has the potential to be a competitive global economic player.
Without violence, we claim a stake in global economic development.
We have, in our hands, an opportunity to announce our return to the family of nations.
We stand on the cusp of improving our international relations.
Let us conduct a violence-free election so that we can extricate ourselves from the current economic quagmire.

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