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statement on the signing of the political parties' code of
Peace Project (ZPP)
January 23, 2013
Peace Project welcomes the signing of the political code of conduct
on political violence by the country's major political parties.
The agreement of the National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration,
according to the political parties, will see political party leaders
being held accountable for their supporters' violent conduct.
The ZPP believes this is a move in the right direction towards ending
the culture of violence and impunity.
has taken more time for the political parties to agree on the code
of conduct, the ZPP believes the document, if adhered to, is going
to see Zimbabwe go through a relatively peaceful electoral period
of the code of conduct comes in at an opportune time where fears
were rising in the face of the forthcoming referendum and the proposed
general elections due to be held this year. According to ZPP reports
events such as the referendum and elections held in the past twelve
years recorded the highest levels of unabated violence perpetrated
by political party supporters against opposition and the citizens.
in Zimbabwe have over the years been accused of preaching peace
by day and perpetrating political violence by night. The ZPP has
reported in its monthly reports, violations that were perpetrated
by members of parliament and other senior politicians from the country's
major political parties. The code of conduct, however, clearly states
that leaders of political parties will be compelled to issue directives
forbidding the intimidation of opponents.
ZPP remains very concerned on whether the code will make any difference
to stem political violence because it does not have legal teeth.
The role of the police and courts should not be undermined when
dealing with perpetrators of political violence. It is ZPP's
view that all perpetrators of violence should be brought to book.
The code partially tries to deal with issues of political violence
by introducing inter-party and stakeholder committees to deal with
The ZPP reports
on political violence are dominated by incidents of harassment and
intimidation which in many cases have culminated in physical violence
come election times.
to be seen this year is the transformation of words into deeds.
President Robert Mugabe has of late been very consistent with his
calls for peace during the upcoming referendum and elections.
all politicians within and without the current government to uphold
the letter and spirit of the code of conduct and create a peaceful
and violent free environment ahead of the elections. During the
last elections there was violence from both the MDC-T and Zanu
PF supporters. A general political environmental scan has also seen
the parties in the inclusive
government witnessing factional break-aways due to intra-party
It the ZPP's
strong view that the realization of the fundamental human rights
and freedoms, very much depends on the willingness of those in power
to enforce implementation. Unless there is change in the political
and democratic culture in Zimbabwe the culture of violence and impunity
will prevail for a very long time to come.
ZPP is a registered
civil society organisation that monitors breaches of peace at community
level as a contribution towards sustainable peace and development
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