By Own Correspondent| Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on Zimbabweans to act responsibly before, during and after the polls adding that the country’s woes are far from over regardless of who wins the forthcoming plebiscite.
Annan, who was heading a delegation of Elders comprising of Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria and UN diplomat concluded their visit to Zimbabwe on Saturday.
At the conclusion of the visit, Annan, Chair of The Elders, the Kofi Annan Foundation and Nobel Peace laureate, said:
“The upcoming elections are the most significant for Zimbabwe since Independence.
The country faces serious challenges which will persist whoever wins; it is critical that everyone acts responsibly before, during and after the elections to ensure a Zimbabwe free from violence, where human rights are respected and prosperity restored.”
Zimbabwe has been a key focus of concern for The Elders since the group was formed in 2007.
“Once one of Africa’s strongest economies, Zimbabwe has suffered sustained political and economic crises over the last two decades and its leaders are failing in their responsibilities to the country’s people,” the Elders are on record saying.
The grouping said the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017 however offers a historic opportunity for national democratic, economic and social renewal.
“All political, military and civil society leaders in Zimbabwe have an opportunity to work together towards free and fair elections in 2018 and a peaceful, inclusive transition.
All state institutions, especially the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, must put transparency and integrity at the heart of their work.
This is particularly important regarding the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration process, which must deliver a credible electoral roll to restore confidence to the voting system,” said The Elders independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.
The Elders represent an independent voice, not bound by the interests of any nation, government or institution.