Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has arrived in Zimbabwe to assess the country’s preparedness ahead of the July 30 harmonized elections.
Annan is leading a team of three Elders expected to be in the country until Saturday. The team is set to meet with political party leaders, officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the media and other stakeholders.
Mr. Annan was met at the airport by UN representative Bishow Parajul.
Mary Robinson, who is the former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human rights, and former Algerian Foreign Minister of Algeria and United Nations diplomat, Lakhdar Brahimi, are accompanying his as part of The Elders team.
According to the team’s website, The Elders are an 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. We are committed to promoting the shared interests of humanity, and the universal human rights we all share.
“We believe that in any conflict, it is important to listen to everyone - no matter how unpalatable or unpopular this may be. We aim to act boldly, speaking difficult truths and tackling taboos. We don’t claim to have all the answers, and stress that every individual can make a difference and create positive change in their society.”
Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the arrival of the elders is a good sign that the Emmerson Mnangagwa government is taking a different approach from that of his predecessor Robert Mugabe, who, in 2008, kicked out members of The Elders after they landed at Harare International Airport to assess the nation’s economic decline.