Zimbabwe’s acting President Joice Mujuru has renewed calls for peaceful elections as the country gears for fresh polls to end the life of the troubled coalition government.
Speaking Monday at the burial of the deputy director (internal) of the Central Intelligence Organization, Elias Kanangoni, who suffered a heart attack and died at his farm in Concession last Wednesday, Mujuru said Zimbabweans should shun violence during and after the elections.
She said Zimbabweans should be as peaceful as they were during the March constitutional referendum, adding politicians should tolerate each other ahead of the polls expected to be called sometime this year.
The MDC formations and civil society groups have accused some state security officers of perpetrating violence in previous elections and interfering in the country’s political affairs.
Mujuru said peace is the bedrock of credible elections.
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have repeatedly called for an end to politically-motivated violence but incidents continue to be recorded in some parts of the country.
Mujuru urged beneficiaries of the land reform program to increase production to ensure food security in the country. Critics say the land reforms destroyed the country’s economy. Zanu PF argues the agrarian reforms are beginning to bear fruit, almost a decade down the line.
Zanu PF politburo member, Saviour Kasukuwere, also the Youth and Indigenization Minister, said Mashonaland Central province had lost a committed cadre following Kanengoni’s death. Just like the late spy chief, Kasukuwere hails from Mashonaland Central.
Tabeth Kanengoni told mourners at the national shrine that her family was at a loss following her father’s sudden death.
But, she said, they were heartened that he left the country in the 1970s to join the liberation struggle to help free Zimbabwe from colonial rule.
Kanengoni and another intelligence officer, Kizito Chivamba, were convicted of shooting the late veteran politician Patrick Kombayi on 24 March 1990 ahead of elections in which Kombayi was contesting against the late deputy President Simon Muzenda in parliamentary elections.
Kanengoni and Chivamba were sentenced to seven years in prison but President Mugabe used his presidential powers to pardon them.
Meanwhile, the two MDC formations in the unity government snubbed the Heroes Acre for the second day running after failing to attend the burial Sunday of former Matabeleland North Governor Jevan Maseko.