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Sports games: Citizen participation, political tolerance and peace building
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
October 25, 2012

On the 20th October 2012 ZESN team organised and successfully conducted A PEACE BUILDING SPORTS GAMES for four political parties in Nkayi. Of the four political parties invited MDC, MDC-T and ZANU PF participated. ZAPU was not able to participate as it failed to mobilise a team. Each political party was expected to have at least one team, either netball or football.

Highlights of the sports activity

The activity started with a prayer. The objectives of the games were mainly to engage political parties in promoting a peaceful voting process and to inculcate the spirit of political tolerance and peace building through social games.

A brief but comprehensive presentation on citizen participation, political tolerance and peace building was made by a ZESN taskforce member from Matabeleland North. The presentation encouraged the participants to peaceful when engaging with each other, to recognize the significance of individuals as Zimbabweans and "Nkayians". To realise that elections are a competition just like sports and if political parties can manage to play peacefully in games, the same should be translated into elections where supporters see each other as contestants and not rivals.

Peace and a spirit of competition was noted throughout the games. Each part provided an official for the games. Football was controlled by ZANU PF with two line man from the two MDC formations. Netball was controlled by MDC T with help from a neutral official.

JOMIC officials who were expected to make a closing key note address in encouraging a spirit of oneness failed to come and one member from each political party participating were chosen to give very brief speeches. Their speeches were worth noting as they encouraged peace building and promised cascade the message to other wards.

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