Kofi Annan calls for elections to resolve Zimbabwe political impasse

Former UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan and Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe

Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, is urging Zimbabwe to resort to democratic elections to resolve the political stalemate in that country.


He said in a statement that ordinary Zimbabweans are not only requesting a change in leadership but the liberty to choose their own leader.

He, therefore, appealed for the national interest to be upheld to ensure peace.

Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) took power last Wednesday after warning Mugabe to halt the purge of supporters belonging to axed vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The army has since held Mugabe under house arrest allowing him a brief appearance at a graduation ceremony last Friday.
Efforts to get Mugabe, 93, to step down started last week with a delegation from South Africa and the Catholic Church joining the army to talk him out.
Two rounds of talk with Mugabe have failed to get the desired results.

The ruling party, ZANU-PF on Sunday removed Mugabe as its president and first secretary, its lawmakers have also started processes to impeach Mugabe when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.

The essential part of Kofi Annan's statement reads as follows:
“I believe, nevertheless, that this crisis offers a unique opening for democratic renewal based on the freely expressed will of the people of Zimbabwe. They must be a full partner in the resolution of this profound crisis. The enthusiastic crowds who marched in the streets of Zimbabwe’s major cities on the weekend were demanding freedom, not just a change of leadership.

“That vital goal will only be achieved by safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process. This requires that all political parties and candidates are allowed to campaign openly and freely without intimidation, that the media is permitted to provide impartial coverage of the elections and the Zimbabwean voters are empowered and encouraged to vote for whomever they wish without fear or favour.

“We have seen how other African countries have suffered grave disappointments and violent setbacks during periods of political transition. I, therefore, urge the leadership of Zimbabwe – political and military - to promote and facilitate a transition to genuine democracy.”

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