Political parties encouraged to refrain from hate speech

By Fungai Jachi

Political parties have been encouraged to desist from inciting violence during their campaigns, amid concern over hate speech being used by some candidates ahead of the March 26 by-elections.

This comes after incidents of public violence during campaign rallies held by the opposition recently.

In a media briefing in Harare this Thursday, National Coordinator of the Citizens Against Violence Initiative (CAVO), Taurai Kundishaya expressed concern over the ranting by some candidates and political party leaders who are inciting violence.

“The mandate is up to ZEC, it has a mandate to conduct elections to set the rules and say if a candidate promotes violence, the person must be suspended disqualified or punished. The message that you bring people has an impact and people. Communication is not what you say but what is heard. What you are saying how is it interpreted by the people,” Kundishaya said.

He added that political parties should use their relations with the international community to complement the country’s developmental agenda.

“If they are politicians in Zimbabwe who have links with the international community they must use those to lure and attract investors so that they come and empower the youths. Connections and international links must not be used for self-gain or to sow seeds of division but to make sure you bring them home you preach a good Zimbabwe were the youths get empowered.”

The recent incidents of political violence saw 16 people being arrested in Kwekwe and three suspected members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) appearing in court on charges of public violence.