Peace expert says a free and fair election is possible if leaders are willing

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By Staff Reporter

A leading peace and governance expert Dr Solomon Mungure has said a peaceful election is possible as long as political leaders are ready to speak and act in a peaceful manner.

Mungure was speaking on the side-line of a peace reporting seminar for journalists in Harare Friday, where he urged Zimbabweans to be tolerant of opposing views.

Asked whether it is possible to have a peaceful environment in Zimbabwe, Mungure said politicians have the power to create a peaceful society.

“We need to have a value system that we subscribe to, the politics only landed in this country and in the way that we are behaving at a much later stage, and we are capable of reverting to our value systems in terms of respecting our elders, neighbours, people with opposing religious and political views, they can still be one family.

“It is possible to ensure that we have got a free and fair electoral period for as long as both our political actors, particularly the leaders speak about peace and act about peace,” Mungure said.

Mungure also urged the society to be peaceful all the time, not only during the election period.

“The peace that we require is an all-time peace,  it does not necessarily have to be pre or post-election peace , we want peace forever and has to be sustainable with appropriate institutions implementing what their statutory requirements are supposed to be.

“Once that happens, then we will realize that most of the things we deserve to have then we will enjoy them.

“What I would recommend for political parties at this point in time is the fact that we want to campaign in a free and fair environment that ensures that whoever emerges as our leader is legitimate on the basis of the history that we have always had,” he said.

Meanwhile, political analysts have predicted a bloody election characterized by violence.