Kofi Annan and The Elders to arrive in Zimbabwe on Thursday

Kofi Annan and The Elders to arrive in Zimbabwe on Thursday

The Elders, a group of elder statesmen led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, are to visit Zimbabwe from 19- 21 July to assess the environment in the country which holds its elections on 30 July.

The group said in a statement that the group is expected to meet political leaders, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the diplomatic community, civil society and the media.

Only three elders are coming, Annan who is the chair;  Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria and UN diplomat.

The group was set up by former South African President Nelson Mandela and comprises Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland (Deputy Chair), Hina Jilani, Ricardo Lagos, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Ernesto Zedillo.

Ela Bhatt, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu are Elders Emeritus.

Zimbabwe has opened up its election to international observers so that it can rejoin the international community if its elections are judged free and fair.

ZEC chief Priscillah Chigumba said her organisation had registered more than 800 observers for the coming elections.



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