VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has urged political parties to observe peace during this year’s harmonised elections, saying those engaging in violence would be chastised by society.
Speaking at the launch of the $300 million special livestock, fisheries and wildlife programme at Gwatemba area in Insiza, Matabeleland South on Saturday, Chiwenga said there was no room for violence during and after the elections.
Zimbabwe expects to hold elections mid-year.
“We are clearly saying no fighting or violence as the roadmap to harmonised elections begins. 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,” he said.
Chiwenga said President Emmerson Mnangagwa would soon be meeting with political parties to discuss the issue.
“His Excellency, before it is too long, we are going to be meeting with all political parties and can you imagine we are now 84, I don’t know who are serious, but we are going to meet and the President has agreed that we meet at State House,” he said.
“We all need (free and fair elections). There shall be no fighting and we shall all agree that who does not abide by that must be chastised by the society,” he said.
On Saturday, the government launched a $300 million facility for the special livestock, fisheries and wildlife programme, meant to boost agriculture production and the national herd.
Chiwenga said the $220 million of support package would be sourced from the private sector, with the balance coming from the government.
The government has already set aside $80 million to kick start the livestock programme.
The government is working in partnership with Sakunda Holdings, Zimplats and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS).
They are targeting to inseminate 6 000 semen straws into a livestock population of 3 600 anticipated to produce 1 800 bulls and 1 800 heifers during the first phase of the programme.
Semen straws will be increased to 16 000 in the second phase.