PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to meet leaders of 84 local political parties as the leader expands engagement efforts to ensure the country delivers free and fair elections later this year.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the Command Livestock, Fisheries and Wildlife programme in Insiza, Matabeleland South Province yesterday, Vice President Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga said government wanted to ensure the country holds non-violent elections.
“We are clearly saying no fighting or violence as the roadmap to our harmonised elections begin,” said the Vice President.
“Our elections should be free, fair and credible, the electorate should be given an opportunity to vote for the candidates of their choice, be it councillor, MP or even President. No to violence I repeat.
“As we continue this call of ensuring free, fair and credible elections, President Mnangagwa will soon be meeting all political parties in the country, where he will be having a frank discussion with them on the roadmap to these harmonised elections.
“We have 84 of these parties and they will all be converging at the State house.”
VP Chiwenga said the task of ensuring that the upcoming elections were smooth sailing was not solely the mandate of the Government, but was a wholesome effort which required everyone’s input regardless of political inclination.
“Let us not forget that we are all Zimbabweans and Zimbabwe is for us all.
“That is why we will be meeting with all the political parties in the land so that we all can play our part,” he said.
VP Chiwenga’s sentiments come at a time when President Mnangagwa has on a number of occasions pledged that Zimbabwe will hold free, fair and non-violent elections this year, and to respect the outcome even if Zanu-PF loses.
The President has also said international observers, principally from the European Union (EU) and United Nations would be invited to monitor the polls as the country seeks to entrench its democracy.