President and Founder of Elshaddai Ministries International, Dr Patience Itai Hove, said political party leaders must strive for maintain and promoting peace so that the country holds violent free elections.

Dr Hove, who was the guest preacher at the country’s 33rd Independence celebrations held at the giant National Sports Stadium in Harare on Thursday, said political party leaders are better placed to denounce and discourage violence.

“We need to create a harmonious and peaceful nation. We need to create peace in our hearts so that we give peace to our neighbors, our spheres of influence and our nation. We pray that each one of us start with inner peace and by so doing we can give what we have,” she said.

President Robert Mugabe at the event also repeated his peace calls ordering the police to arrest anyone found perpetrating political violence.

“We want peace; let the people vote in peace. We get reports from the police about clashes, usually the fighting is caused by people who don’t want others to wear their party regalia .So I say we are all Zimbabweans, go and vote your own way,” Mugabe said.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections not later than October of this year following the successful holding of a referendum last month.

But of concern to citizens is the recurrence of political violence despite concerted calls by political leaders of a violent free Zimbabwe.

The inclusive government in 2009 established the organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) between Zanu (PF) and the two Movements for Democratic Change (MDC) political parties.

Its mandate was to advise government on the best possible ways to achieve national healing and reconciliation in the country.

Observers however say the recurrence of political violence is evidence of government failure to deal with the issue.

Their argument is that the responsibility should have been given to churches.

Elshaddai Ministries International challenges political party leaders to promote peace.

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