…launches #AsOne campaign
Centre News Reporter
In a bid to promote a violence free watershed general plebiscite slated for mid-year in the country, human rights defenders, Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), launched a peace campaign targeting volatile rural communities urging citizens to shun political violence against members of rival political affiliations.
The organization launched its flagship Peace Campaign for the 2023 general election in Zaka on March23, 2023, dubbed #AsOne, anchored on three pillars; Tolerance, Harmony and Ubuntu.
The launch was held in the form of a Nhimbe in line with HZT’s tradition of using traditional and customary platforms.
Many local leaders of diverse political backgrounds, traditional leaders and community leaders of Ward 19 and 7 in Zaka attended the event.
Ward 19 Councilor, Innocent Imbayago, emphasized the importance of tolerance and social cohesion at community and national level to build and foster peace.
“We are happy to be invited at this important event were we are once again urged to remember the importance of participating peacefully in this year elections without hurting one another. It is important to be tolerant and observe peace as we chose our leaders in the elections which are coming and will go,” said Imbayago.
Traditional leaders present at the event took turns to encourage villagers to participate freely and peacefully in the upcoming harmonized elections.
They implored villagers to prevent a repeat of dark episodes of past electoral violence particularly the 2008 violent elections that claimed lives and livelihoods in Zaka.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust representative, Tapiwanashe Chiriga explained the key pillars anchoring the campaign and the theme message of the Campaign: Harmony in Diversity.
“There is need for communities to live in harmony and peace even when we chose our leaders in the forthcoming elections so that when the process is over, we can continue to live in congruence as communities. There is no need to hate someone for believing in different ideologies hence we need to respect and tolerate each other beyond this period of elections,” said Chiriga.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust Executive Director, Rashid Mahiya also weighed in saying: “We will take this to the entire nation, with a critical focus on areas that have traditionally been hotspots of political violence and intolerance to encourage peaceful participation, tolerance and harmony in the diversity of political choices.”