Story by Innocent Nxumalo
As political parties are seized with preparations for the general elections later this year, the Beitbridge community has activated local peace committees to ensure harmony prevails throughout the electoral season.
The development also follows President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for Zimbabweans to conduct themselves peacefully during this year’s general elections.
The Beitbridge local peace committee members say it is time to start preaching the gospel of peace throughout the nation.
A resident said, “We have volunteered to be stewards of peace in our lifetime. It is crucial for us to come together despite differing ideologies especially when the nation is undergoing this crucial democratic process.”
Another noted, “The communities need to be on the forefront in ensuring unity and tranquillity. We also have a task to address other social problems.”
“As a youth, I find it fulfilling to be part of the local peace committees. It is us the youths who are involved in social scourge like drug and substance abuse and if we are to overcome this challenge youths need to be part of the solution,” a youth said.
The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, which works closely with the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to coordinate local peace committees, reminded citizens that there is life after elections.
Zimbabwe Christian Alliance Executive Director, Reverend Useni Sibanda said, “Local Peace Committees are essential tools of motivating oneness in the face of diversity. It is pleasing to note that communities are embracing this initiative to ensure people live well before, during and after elections.”
To ensure continuous dialogue at the national level, the government has also set up the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) which has seen concerned political parties resolving differences through engagement as opposed to violence.