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Ex-UN boss Koffi Annan calls for elections to resolve Zimbabwe political crisis

Former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan urges Zimbabwe to resort to democratic elections. File photo.

ZIMBABWE–Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has urged Zimbabwe to resort to democratic elections to resolve the political stalemate in that country.

This was said in a statement that published Monday on his website. In his own words, Annan said ordinary Zimbabweans are not only requesting for 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.

“The political crisis in Zimbabwe is not yet resolved. 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,” he advised.

He further added: “General elections in Zimbabwe are already scheduled for 2018. They present an historic opportunity for the voters of Zimbabwe to choose their leaders in a manner that confers full legitimacy on the winning candidate. 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.”

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 today, Tuesday.

However, Annan advises that for every step taken, Zimbabwe must be at the forefront.

“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. All of the country’s leaders must put the interest of the nation first and work together to ensure the future peace, progress and prosperity of Zimbabwe.”

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