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Kofi Annan Encourages Zim to Hold Credible Elections

Representatives of the Elders Council currently in Zimbabwe on a fact finding mission have encouraged government and President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ensure the forthcoming elections are free, fair and credible.

The group led by former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan landed in the country yesterday and immediately held meetings with some of the contestants in the elections including Joice Mujuru of the People’s Rainbow Coalition among others.

The Council today met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the State House, though they did not divulge much details about the details of their discussions.

“We are here to encourage peaceful and credible elections,” is what Annan could only say to journalists.

President Mnangagwa said he had an excellent meeting with the Elders whom he said wanted a brief on the current situation in the country ahead of the July 30 polls.

“It was an excellent meeting with the Elders, they wanted a brief from the current situation in the country. I was able to tell them that we are going through a process of the general elections in our country.

“This time around, most political parties have been created as a result of the opening up of democratic space in Zimbabwe, we have 133 political parties in Zimbabwe and out of 133, 55 are contesting, and out of 55, 23 are contesting for the office of the President and we are happy that our people, political parties included have heeded our call for non-violence, yes was an incident in Bulawayo but that was intended to assassinate me not democracy.

“So it was very clear that this is what we are having and we are moving forward and we have ZEC, which is an independent commission, government has no role in controlling or influencing ZEC at all, they are guided by the Electoral Act of the country as well as the constitution, those who feel ZEC has not complied with the law or constitution, courts are open to deal with such issues,

“They on their part said they had an opportunity of meeting many leaders of political parties and organisations, and across the board, they feel this time around, they feel there is freedom to move in the country and do campaigns,” said Mnangagwa.

Moments after meeting Mnangagwa, Annan and his team proceeded to meet opposition MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa at Meikles Hotel in Harare.

After the meeting, Chamisa told journalists that he had raised his concerns over the security and printing of the ballot paper to the Elders Council.

“We have raised our issues with ZEC that we want transparency in the printing and security of the ballot paper,” said Chamisa.

The three-member team, which also includes Lakhdar Brahimi from Algeria and former Irish Prime Minister, Mary Robinson was due to appear at a Citizen Manifesto summit currently underway at Harare Gardens in the capital.

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