President Robert Mugabe has urged supporters of various political parties to coexist in order to enable Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections next year.
In a speech Monday at the burial of Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge at the National Heroes Acre, Mr. Mugabe said some supporters of national parties are now engaged in violent activities which may derail the holding of credible general polls.
The previous elections were described as a sham by some observers who said they did not reflect the aspirations of Zimbabweans.
Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA Studio 7 the president’s call will be meaningless if police fail to take action against known perpetrators of political violence.
Mwonzora, who was among senior MDC officials who attended the burial, said Zimbabweans are tired of political violence.
The late Mudenge collapsed and died last Thursday at a hotel in Masvingo.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tsvangirai told party supporters Saturday in the region’s Zaka District that he will pull out of the unity government if Zanu PF supporters continued harassing his supporters.
The prime minister said he was pained that principals of the coalition government pretended to be working together while communities were being torn apart by political violence.
Mr. Tsvangirai said his party will meet soon to map the way forward.
Some Masvingo families lost their homes last week after they were petrol-bombed by suspected Zanu PF supporters.
Tsholotsho lawmaker, Professor Jonathan Moyo, quickly responded to Mr. Tsvangirai’s threats saying “the prime minister is talking of withdrawing from the government because he is losing support at grassroots level”.
Moyo said it was laughable that the premier wants to pull out of the government a few months before the next crucial polls.
Independent political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya, who is a PHD candidate at West Minister University in London, dismissed Moyo’s statement saying Mr. Tsvangirai has a right to refuse to participate in fresh elections if he feels that his supporters are under siege.
In Nyanga, meanwhile, the National Healing organ says the government should establish an independent council to focus on developing methods the country can use to resolve conflicts arising from political violence and related issues.
Speaking during a Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum international conference on 'Transitional Justice', National Healing Minister Sekai Holland said the council will put mechanisms in place to assist victims and perpetrators and root out the culture of violence.
Alex Magaisa, law lecturer at Kent University in the United Kingdom, said Zimbabwe’s draft constitution should have proposed the setting up of an independent council for resolving conflicts.
Heal Zimbabwe program manager Cleto Manjova said a peaceful election is possible in Zimbabwe next year but only if the government and the civil society work hard to educate people on the ills of political violence.