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  Home > Entering Africa > Current Affairs of Africa
Zimbabwe ruling party youths hold march for peaceful poll
2018/06/08

HARARE, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of youths from Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party on Wednesday held a march in the capital Harare to support the call by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for a violence-free election.

Zimbabwe will hold elections on July 30, the first without former president Robert Mugabe and his longtime rival Morgan Tsvangirai who died of cancer in February.

Since assuming office in November last year following the resignation of Mugabe, Mnangagwa has been urging all political parties to ensure a violence-free election.

Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by violence perpetrated by both the ruling ZANU-PF and opposition parties.

Mnangagwa has invited international observers for the July election, including those from the West that have been banned since 2002.

Several election observer teams have also arrived in Zimbabwe for pre-election assessments.

The march by the youths comes a day after the opposition MDC Alliance on Tuesday staged a demonstration in Harare to demand broader electoral reforms to ensure credible polls.

In his address to the youths, ZANU-PF Youth League secretary Pupurai Togarepi reiterated the need for ZANU-PF supporters to observe peace and remain calm when provoked to ensure the country holds peaceful polls.

"We have elements in this country who believe in chaos, anarchy and violence but our president Mnangagwa is saying no to that. We need a peaceful election," he said.

He castigated the opposition for making several demands to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, saying the opposition failed to utilize the past five years when it was in parliament to push for electoral reforms.

"The reason why they are making noise and criticizing ZEC is that they are afraid of losing the election. They have not adequately prepared for this election," Togarepi said.

The opposition is demanding that at least 10 crucial reforms must be implemented before polls, including transparency in the printing of ballot papers, independent audit of the voters' roll, diaspora vote, removal of military personnel at ZEC and fair media coverage for all political parties.

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