“Let’s Show the World that we can Co-exist”: Political Parties
CCMT hosted an inter-political party youth peace dialogue at Silveira House on Friday the 11t h of May 2018. National Youth Executive Members of five political parties namely ZANU P F, MDCT, MDC, ZAPU, NCA and PDP were in attendance. The five youth wings pledged that they will not perpetrate any form of political violence against each other before, during and after elections. They also agreed on minimum requirements for holding free and fair elections. It was agreed that elections are an opportunity for Zimbabweans to show the world that they are peace loving. The National Executive Members of the youth wings of the five political parties represented resolved that:
- Political party leaders must publicly denounce violence and engrain peace messages during their campaigns.
- Political party leaders must shun hate speech and hate slogans as this has the effect of inciting violence.
- Political parties must not offer solidarity, legal or any form of protection to perpetrators of violence.
- Political parties must stop running militias or any other form of structured or organized violence systems.
- Political parties must raise awareness among their members on the political party’s code of conduct.
- Political party leadership at all levels must sign peace pledges rather than leaving it to the national leadership.
- Political parties must economically empower their membership to so that their economic vulnerabilities may not be capitalized for political violence.
- Political parties must acknowledge the violence that Zimbabwean citizens have been subjected to right from Gukurahundi, land reform, 2008 elections and prioritize it for national reconciliation and healing.
- Understand all forms of violence so as to be able to deal with them.
- Young people must contest for political leadership.
- Young people from across the political divide must constantly engage and interface so as to build a culture of tolerance. Such engagements must be cascaded to grassroots levels.
- Young people must find an inter-political party agenda and point of convergence. They must demonstrate to the world that they can co-exist.
- Youths must be the vanguards of the political party’s code of conduct.
- ZEC must create conditions that minimize electoral disputes as this has proven to be a key driver of violence in Zimbabwe.
It was resolved that these resolutions must form the basis of the negotiations for a peace pledge that national political parties are seized with, under the facilitation of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and the churches. All the National Youth Leaders represented agreed that a peace pact between the youth wings of all political parties contesting in elections has to be signed. They are now seeking approval from their national leadership so that they can append their signatures to the pledge