VICE President Constantino Chiwenga called for the observance of peace in this Saturday’s local authorities and National Assembly by-elections and urged all political parties to accept the outcome of the polls.
The Vice President said this after meeting Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations at the Munhumutapa Building where they discussed various issues raised by the clergy.
The by-elections are for 28 National Assembly and 122 local authorities’ seats and VP Chiwenga reiterated calls made by President Mnangagwa in his campaign trail for peace and harmony to prevail.
“Throughout the campaign period for Saturday’s by-elections, we encouraged our supporters to shun violence.
“There is very little to be gained by winning an election that is adjudged as not being credible, free and fair,” he said.
“But we are also aware that there are others in the opposition who do not want to see credible elections pronounced in Zimbabwe when they lose those elections.
“It is public knowledge that they have declared that they must win tomorrow’s elections and 2023 harmonised general elections failing which they would not concede defeat.
“This is where we appeal to you as church leaders to try and impress upon them to respect the will of the people in electing a political party of their choice.
“You may not be a Zanu PF supporter but you should respect our democracy and allow the will of the people to prevail.
“There are always winners and losers in any election, those who win should be modest in victory and those who lose should accept their defeat gracefully.”
He urged the Church to speak out against malcontents that advocate for changing the government through unconstitutional means.
VP Chiwenga said they had a frank discussion with the Church leaders which focused on by-elections, political violence, the Private Voluntary Organisation Bill, the humanitarian situation in the country and the implementation of the Auditor General’s recommendations to curb corruption.
He added that Government was open to meeting various stakeholders for the good of the country in line with President Mnangagwa’s mantra that ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo,”.
On the proposal for comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue, the Vice President said the Second Republic was not averse to dialogue as seen by the establishment of the Political Actors Dialogue as a forum for engagement.
In his remarks, Bishop Never Muparutsa who was the leader of the ZCHOD said they had a cordial meeting with the Vice President.
“We had a fruitful meeting with the Vice President.
“It was a follow-up meeting with the meeting we have had with the President and there were several issues we discussed today and we were bringing our concerns on the issues,” he said.