Zim civic bodies stage peace concert

HARARE - Some Zimbabwean civic society organisations on Saturday hosted a peace concert aimed at rehabilitating and uniting victims of political violence that descended on the country in the run up to the June 27 presidential run-off election.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Artists for Democracy in
Zimbabwe Trust (ADZT) and Savanna Arts teamed up to stage a peace
concert in Karoi, 200km northwest of Harare.

Concert organiser and MISA advocacy officer, Thabani Moyo, said the
initiative is meant to restore dignity, spirit of togetherness and
humanism among the people of Zimbabwe.

"There is no-one worth killing for, the blood of the Zimbabwean child
is far important than anyone and it should not be spilled because of
political expediency," Moyo told an audience of about 500 people
gathered in Karoi’s Chikangwe Hall for the concert.

The initiative was launched under the "One Love Peace Festivals" banner
in Harare and Bulawayo in July, following the June 27 election that
left about 200 mostly opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
supporters dead in politically motivated violence.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai eventually pulled out of the election
because of state orchestrated violence against his supporters, leaving
President Robert Mugabe to claim victory in a widely condemned election
in which he was sole candidate.

The peace concerts make use of young musicians and performing artists
to spread messages of peace, neighbourly love and remind people that
elections are events that come and go.

"We want to restore the spirit of humanism. There is no reason
whatsoever why we should kill each other whenever we go for elections.
It’s not worth it, children of Zimbabwe we should never for whatever
reason be seen to be killing each other because of politics or on
behalf of anyone," said Moyo.

Organisers of the concerts said the shows would be taken to different
centres around the country so as to build and restore hope among the

"Our aim is to take these festivals to all corners of the country and
try to preach the message of peace and harmony among Zimbabweans, said
ADZT coordinator Ethel Mapiye, adding; "We want to restore hope among
Zimbabweans after a very difficult past in which we saw neighbour
turning against neighbour, friends becoming enemies, brother turning
against brother. In short, we want to build a base for a better

The concerts are being held at a time when rights groups are reporting
that violence is continuing in some parts of the country despite a
commitment in September between Zimbabwe’s two main political parties
to come together to form a government of national unity.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said in its latest report released
early this month that cases of political violence and human rights
abuses shot up

39 percent from August to September. – ZimOnline

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