•Peace, tolerance triumph as youths converge for Sport for Peace by Tateguru tv
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life forevermore,” Psalms 133:1-3, King James Version Bible.
The word ‘behold ‘ means to look upon in amazement. It means that there is something to look at in awe. The word means to look at something appreciatively.
Now behold, how good it is for the youths of Zimbabwe to live together in peace and harmony, regardless of political affiliation. How good it is for the people of Zimbabwe to draw lessons from such a happening that represents the epitome of political maturity.
Indeed such was the environment on Wednesday at Belvedere Teachers’ College in Harare.
An awesome environment was unfolding when this writer passed through the College Sports Arena where colourful Youth Teams had converged for the inaugural 4-H Zimbabwe Inter-Party Youth Sports Tournament.
The history of Zimbabwean politics is littered with incidences of political violence, intolerance, acrimony and polarisation.
Since independence, the country has endured episodes of strong political misunderstandings.
Itis such realisation of the realistic potential for civil strife that has motivated Mr. John Muchenje, National Director of 4-H Zimbabwe to focus on the promotion of peacebuilding and political tolerance in Zimbabwe.
Befittingly, the organisation chose this year’s Africa Day commemoration to launch its peacebuilding mission among the youths, from across the political spectrum, through sport.
“Our role and aim are to work with the youths in Zimbabwe regardless of political affiliation. The major aim is to inculcate the spirit of peace and tolerance among the youths in Zimbabwe. That is why we are here today, a day on which we have chosen to use sport to promote peace and tolerance amongst our people. We are trying to create an inclusive society in Zimbabwe where members of different political parties coexist peacefully,” said Mr. Muchenje in welcoming remarks.
The event reimagined local politics..
The reality and potential to kill each other for reasons that may not exist is high. Thus the urgent need to plug the gap and bring them together in a way that can detoxify and demystify the environment.
It is important for the youths to realise that they don’t hate each other at all and that no reason exists to hate each other.
The Inter-Party South Sports tournament brought together youths from ZANU PF, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Front for Economic Empowerment Zimbabwe (FEEZ), Labour Economics and Development (LEAD), and was indeed an awesome concentration of divergent political players, all in the name of peace and tolerance.
Opposition CCC was represented by Cecilia Chimbiri and Honourable Joana Mamombe who is a member of the Parliamentary Caucus on Youth, while Cde Taurai Kandishaya who is ZANU PF Deputy Youth Political Commissar, Johnson Bhunu of FFEZ and Blessing Nhende of MDC-T, Caroline from LEAD and representative for the National Youth Council also attended the sports gala.
Indeed since it is the youths who were instrumental in liberating the country from colonial rule, it is the same youths who have subsequently become instruments of hate, intolerance and political instability in the country. Many pseudo-political parties and activist organisations have deployed unsuspecting youths on missions to disturb peace and foment strife in the country.
The youths of Zimbabwe have on many occasions been set up against one another, on missions that mostly don’t benefit the country but the outside donor community.
But Zimbabweans have to shoulder the blame for failing to realise the folly of being a divided people, the folly of hate and acrimony.
The late Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde John Landa Nkomo all but summed it up when he said; “Peace begins with you, Peace begins with me, Peace begins with all of us.”
Indeed the attainment of peace is a collective effort.
“As we head for elections next year (2023), our main issue is that we encourage one another to campaign peacefully. Violence does not win elections, but a well crafted manifesto does. Now what I urge you to do is to go out and encourage your political parties to come up with beautiful manifestos that are youth centred. Manifestos that are reflective of the requirements of the Constitutional Parliamentary Youth quota,” said Mr. Muchenje in conclusion.