Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday leading a three-member team of The Elders, a group of elder statesmen founded by the late South African President Nelson Mandela in 2007, today met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his main rival Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance.
Annan who is accompanied by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria and UN diplomat, is in the country until tomorrow to assess the environment in the country which holds its elections on 30 July.
The elders met representatives of civil society and presidential candidates yesterday.
They are also expected to meet the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the diplomatic community during the visit.
Annan said the people of Zimbabwe deserve free, fair and peaceful expression of their democratic will and urged all political players to ensure this.
The elders said civil society had a pivotal role to play in building a robust democracy in Zimbabwe ahead of the most important elections since Independence.
Some 23 candidates are contesting for president.