Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Bureau
ACTING President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged political parties to exercise restraint and tolerance towards each other in the build up to the 2018 harmonised elections to ensure safe and peaceful polls.
Speaking at the burial of Gweru Diocese Bishop, Right Reverend Xavier Munyongani at Driefontein Mission in Chirumhanzu yesterday, Acting President Mnangagwa urged all political parties to abide by set out election guidelines, norms, values, principles and the Constitution to make sure that the elections are held in a peaceful environment.
He said the harmonised elections should be used as a stepping stone to foster peace and harmony in the country.
“I also exhort all of us from our various political parties to exercise restraint and tolerance towards each other in the build up to the 2018 harmonised elections. To this end I appeal to you to follow the rules and guidelines for the conduct of harmonised elections to foster peace and harmony,” he said.
“As the Apostle Paul exhorts us in his epistle to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 vs 5,’’ Acting President Mnangagwa said, “an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
“Likewise whether you are in sport, burial societies or even politics, it is critical to abide by the relevant constitutions, set out guidelines, norms, values and principles of our various associations. For indeed, it is through the adherence to agreed laid down parameters that we ensure peaceful coexistence and harmonious interactions and a united and orderly society,” he said.
The church, Acting President Mnangagwa said, had a mammoth yet imperative task of playing its role as the voice of reason in fostering unity and patriotism.
“I am informed that at the beginning of this month the late Bishop Munyongani called for the protection of the family unit and love if the world was to enjoy peace and harmony when he was addressing the Catholic couples congress attended by dozens of congregants from provinces across the country.
“He taught his congregants that love and unity begin in the family and cascades to communities, clans, tribes and eventually the entire nation.
“This is a clear testimony that he died working from the church pulpit, preaching the gospel of love, unity and peaceful coexistence. I therefore wish to take this opportunity to urge congregants gathered here today and the nation at large to take a leaf from the message of peace and tolerance exemplified by the life of the man we are laying to rest here today,” he said.