Harare - Zimbabwe's president says political violence must be "buried in the past" to move the nation toward free and unhindered elections.
President Robert Mugabe, addressing celebrations marking 32 years of independence on Wednesday, acknowledged violence and intimidation have long blighted campaigning. He asked politicians vying for office to look back at how "we have done wrong to our people" through violence and "fighting among ourselves".
Mugabe, 88, in a conciliatory and often faltering address of 50 minutes — less than his usual, fiery 90-minute speeches — said voters should be allowed to join and freely vote for the party of their choice.
Mugabe did not mention latest claims on his ailing health. He returned on Thursday from Singapore where he received medical treatment last year.