The Youth Coalition on Electoral Reform herein referred to as the Youth Coalition is deeply concerned by recent events which have seen political violence rear its ugly head again in Zimbabwe.
It is clear that the election season is upon us and the worrying trend has seemingly emerged again, the ghost from the past is coming back to haunt our nation.
The Youth Coalition condemns in the strongest terms the inter party political violence witnessed in Masvingo where opposition leader Nelson Chamisa had his convoy attacked by alleged ruling party youths.
Videos of ruling party supporters declaring Nelson Chamisa a persona non grata in the area are appalling in a free and democratic Zimbabwe.
In Manicaland and Mashonaland Central, intra party violence has also been reported within the ruling party ZANU PF.
It is sad that we have to see this kind of behaviour each election season. As the Youth Coalition we urge our leaders especially those from the ruling party to stop forthwith issuing inflammatory statement that seemingly encourage political violence.
Statements attributed to the ruling party acting Political Commissar Patrick Chinamasa, that Nelson Chamisa was attacked because he had provoked ruling party supporters are regrettable and unfortunate.
We call upon political leaders to exercise restraint and caution on what they say in public and that includes Patrick Chinamasa.
Political Violence is retrogressive and creates an environment not conducive for free participation in the electoral processes especially by our constituents, the Youth.
Political leaders must understand that beyond political affiliations, we are all Zimbabweans and we need each other to build a Prosperous, Democratic and Progressive nation.
The Youth Coalition urges the President to act and call some of his officials to order for issuing inflammatory statements.
We also urge SADC, the AU to call Harare to order and nip the scourge of political violence which is seemingly becoming systemic and a strategy employed by some political actors.
Electoral contestation is won on the basis of ideas not violence, the latter is not only retrogressive but primitive.
We also call upon the law enforcement authorities to bring offenders to book so as to avoid a repeat of such.
ENDORSED BY THE YOUTH COALITION ON ELECTORAL REFORMS
African Regional Youth Initiative (ARYI)
African Youth Portal
Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT)
Community Talk Trust
Light Bearers Youth Initiative Trust
Lupane Youth For Development Trust
National Youth Development Trust (NYDT)
Women Trust Africa
Young Advocates for Inclusion
Youth Alliance for Democracy (YAD)
Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT)
Youth Forum Zimbabwe (YFZ)
Youth Initiative for Community Development (YICD)
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
Zimbabwe Election and Advocacy Trust (ZEAT)