Bulawayo youths from all political parties in Zimbabwe last Saturday merged and pledged to maintain peace as the country nears 2023 presidential elections.
Speaking at a peace-building meeting organized by a local non-governmental organisation, the youths pledged to shun political violence to ensure the electorate choose their leaders in peace.
Zanu PF national youth league executive member, Munashe Mtudza, commended the initiative.
“This initiative by 4H Zimbabwe is good because it involves young people in trying to address issues to deal with peace in the country especially now that we are nine months before next year’s elections which by all manner and purposes looks like there may be some instances of violence,” he said.
“…as we go towards 2023 we come together with an understanding that we are brothers before we become members from different political entities.
“We as Zanu PF youths, obviously follow in the lead from our President Emmerson Mnangagwa who has always said as we go for elections there is no room for violence politically or otherwise. We need to coexist regardless of political affiliation.”
MDC-T youth national spokesperson, Nqobizitha Mazibeli added; “Yes ,we can make a peace pledge here, if people decide to breach that there is nothing that happens after that.
“So, in future if we can have these pledges, let’s follow legal parameters and have these discussions binding so that it doesn’t become just a waste of time. Let’s have these issues also raised in parliament so that it all becomes binding.”
The initiative was also supported by Eric Gono from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
“This a very good initiative but it needs a bit of honesty in terms of implementation because more often we have heard these platforms where youths come and converge after that we see violence escalating,” he said.
“A lot needs to be done in terms of empowering youths because you realise that a lot of these youths involved in violence are not fighting for themselves but fighting for the elderly. So we need youths to be more focused instead of being used by others.”