The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has welcomed the show of commitment from political parties to uphold peace ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections.
This follows the signing of the High Level Election Peace Pledge in Harare on Tuesday, where all political parties participating in the polls appending their signatures.
The pledge was initiated by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
The launch was supported by various stakeholders including CSOs, diplomats, Embassies, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
“The public commitment to ensuring peaceful elections by the political parties is a positive development which supports the creation of an environment that facilitates the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms by citizens,” said ZESN in a statement.
‘Given that previous elections have been marred by incidents of intimidation and violence against citizens and observers, it is imperative that the political parties abide by the Peace Pledge as well as the Political Parties Code of Conduct”.
ZESN also added that there was a need for the strengthening of Multi-Party Liason Committees at every level to ensure the pledge is enforced.
“ZESN believes that it is crucial for the Multi-Party Liaison Committees to be strengthened at every level including, ward, district and national levels to support the commitment by the political parties to peaceful campaigns,” the organisation said.
“The NPRC should put in place mechanisms countrywide to enforce the pledge and collaborate with other stakeholders such as civic society organisations and other institutions supporting democracy namely the ZHRC and ZEC in monitoring the political environment ahead of the election”.
Various political parties have commended the current political climate saying it is a departure from previous elections which were marred with violence and clampdown on opposition political parties.