Zim's political parties call for unity ahead of Independence Day

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Harare - Zimbabwe's main political parties, Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions, have called for unity among all Zimbabweans ahead of the country's 29th Independence Day celebrations on Saturday.

Addressing a joint press conference, leaders of the political parties, which have come together to form an inclusive government, said 18 April was a day for all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation, hence the need to celebrate together.

They said that as such, no party regalia would be allowed at all celebration venues countrywide to avoid violence among supporters.

Zanu-PF Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity Ephraim Masawi said Zimbabweans must come in large numbers to celebrate their hard won independence.

"I want to tell all members of Zanu-PF to come in their big numbers. But I should make it clear that no party regalia will be allowed in the stadium," he added.

MDC representative Jameson Timba, who is also the Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, concurred, saying: "18 April is a national day, it is not an event for Zanu-PF or MDC.

"Therefore, I urge all Zimbabweans, especially MDC supporters, to come to the event in their large numbers."

MDC splinter faction official Edwin Mushoriwa said Independence Day was for all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation. "To us as a party, 18 April is national event, it means more than the inclusive government," he said.

The main celebrations for the day would be held at the National Sports Stadium while other commemorations would be held throughout the country at designated centres.

Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu said President Robert Mugabe would lead the celebrations at the National Sports Stadium.