by Ashley Kondo
Zimbabweans have heeded calls to maintain a peaceful environment ahead of the polls scheduled for 30 July this year.
Since his inauguration, President Mnangagwa, has made numerous pronouncements on the need for a peaceful, free, fair and credible election.
A survey by Harare Post in the Central Business District (CBD) revealed that indeed, the masses have upheld calls for peace as there is increased political tolerance, freedom of association and expression among the electorate.
A vendor at Copacabana, Taurai Maphosa, said it was business as usual for him as there were no disturbances owing to political activities.
“I sell my fruits in town every day and unlike other years, the environment is very peaceful,” said Taurai.
“I would like to thank the President for his calls to maintain the peace ahead of the harmonised elections,” he added.
A shop owner along First Street, Pauline Kwanisai, said the peaceful environment being experienced in the country ahead of the polls has indeed contributed to the ease-of-doing-business.
She narrated how her shop was broken into during the 2013 elections when there was a clash between protesters and the Police.
“In 2013, my shop was broken into as a result of political violence but this year, you realise that all political parties are free to move around campaigning without fear of being intimidated by anyone” she said.
However, a recent monitoring report by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) pointed to isolated cases of intra party violence as being rampant in opposition political parties, where the MDC-T topped the list, having registered sixteen cases of violence, while ZANU PF had a paltry three cases.
Commenting on the ZPP report, taxi driver, Owen Mangwiro, said the statistics were a clear testimony that ZANU PF was on a new political path founded on the values of peace.
“Under the new dispensation, ZANU PF has evolved as a disciplined and principled party, thanks to President Mnangagwa”.