CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa says elections in Zimbabwe must not cost lives adding there was a need to focus on free and fair polls to enhance development.
Chamisa told Business Times after his trip to Lesotho for the inauguration of the country’s newly-elected Prime Minister and diamond tycoon Sam Matekane that violence must not be part of any elections in Africa as leaders must focus on policies to develop nations.
He was part of several opposition leaders including Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and also took time to interact with other leaders including Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema.
Cabinet on Tuesday said President Emmerson Mnangagwa was invited for the inauguration but could not attend due to bereavement in the family following the death of his grandson, Yasha Mafidi, and the Zanu PF national congress that started last Thursday.
Mnangagwa was represented by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Fredrick Shava who took time in Lesotho to interact with Chamisa and his deputy Tendai Biti.
“Elections must not cost lives but save and preserve lives,” Chamisa said.
“Africa must come of age and there shouldn’t be disharmony or war. It shouldn’t be a platform for insults. Politics must be a happy exchange of ideas and cross pollination of vision and transforming society.”
“It should be a big lesson from Lesotho. Elections must come to serve the people,” Chamisa said.
Observers said there are fears of a bloody election next year after the recently held by-elections in Matobo and Insiza were marred by politically-motivated clashes.
Bulawayo Member of Parliament Jasmine Toffa was injured and hospitalised following the clashes.
Mnangagwa has called for peace ahead of the polls while the ruling Zanu PF party accused the CCC of falsifying violent claims to attract the attention of the international community to discredit the election before they are held.