Zanu-PF Snubs Joint Political Parties Peace Rallies

Only Zapu and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations (MDC’s) have been attending the peace rallies held at various suburbs, calling on their supporters to shun violence.

But Zanu-PF officials in the city have been conspicuous about their absence because they have not been a directive to do so by the top leadership.

“We are worried by the no show of Zanu-PF officials in the joint peace rallies. These rallies are important peace building initiatives and the success of these initiatives will only succeed if all stakeholders participate.

“However, that has not been the case.

“We have extended numerous invitations to them (Zanu-PF) to attend and call for zero tolerance on violence but the message we get all the time from the Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial executive is that they are still waiting for the green light from the party leadership to attend,” Zibusiso Dube, the spokesperson of the Bulawayo progressive Residents Association (BPRA) which organises the meeting told Radio VOP in an interview.

Zanu-PF Bulawayo province spokesperson, Michael Sikhosana also confirmed, saying “our Party elders have not given us a green light.”

Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu-PF national spokesperson was not available for comment.

The failure of Zanu-PF to attend the Bulawayo peace rallies has raised speculation of the party’s sincerity in addressing the issue of violence.

Last year in November a conference on political violence was held in Harare by the three political parties in the unity government but Zanu-PF supporters continue to unleash violence countrywide, according to the MDC’s and civic groups.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) and the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) recently said Zanu-PF which is feared for unleashing violence to its opponents is still forcing people to attend its political meetings as well as to buy party cards countrywide.

ZESN and ZPP said political tolerance is still very low in Zimbabwe as the country prepares to hold elections to end the coalition government formed by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.