Story by Daily News

YOUTH from different political parties have called for national dialogue among themselves
as they seek to curb political violence ahead of next year’s much anticipated harmonized polls.

Speaking on the sidelines of a peace conference organized by a Harare based non governmental organization, 4-H Zimbabwe, at the weekend, Zanu PF national youth league executive member Munashe Mtudza said peace was important for national development.

“This initiative by 4-H Zimbabwe is an excellent one because mainly it involves
young people in trying to address issues to deal with peace in the country, especially
now that we are nine months before the next elections which by all manner and purposes
looks like there may be some instances of violence,” Mtudza said. “So, these platforms are important as we try to fi nd each other as we go towards 2023. We need to come together with an understanding that we are brothers before we become members of different political entities.

“We, as Zanu PF youth, obviously follow the lead from our president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has always said as we go
for elections there is no room for violence, politically or otherwise. We need to co-exist regardless of political affiliation.”

Nqobizitha Mazibeli, MDC youth national spokesperson, said while the initiative was positive, pledges for peace should be
implemented by all the political parties. “Yes, we can make a peace pledge here, if people decide to breach that there is nothing that happens after that. So, in future if we can have these pledges, let’s follow legal parameters and have these discussions binding so that it doesn’t become just a worst of time.
“Let’s have these issues also raised in parliament, so that it all becomes binding,”Mazibeli told the Daily News.

Representing CCC youths, Eric Gono also said there was a need to walk the talk
when it comes to implementation of peace pledges.
“This is a very good initiative, but it needs a bit of honesty in terms of implementation because more often we have heard these platforms where youth come and converge after that we see violence escalating.

“A lot needs to be done in terms of empowering youth because you realise that a lot of these youth involved in violence are
not fighting for themselves, but fighting for the elderly. So, we need youth to be more focused instead of being used by others. We need to come together and end violence.”

Youth representatives from different political parties and institutions

Parliamentary Youth Caucus chairperson Tatenda Mavetera, who was also at the event, said dialogue by youth on their
own was the best way towards attaining a violent-free election.
“People need to understand that politics is just a platform for us to choose leaders, not a situation where we need to fi ght in order to get into those positions. So this form of dialogue among youth themselves is vital
as it cultivates the spirit of peace and that we are all Zimbabweans, we need to unite for one cause,” she said.

The convener, John Muchenje, 4 H Zimbabwe director said his mission was to continue advocating for peace and tolerance among the youth as the nation moves towards elections.