The Elders today encouraged all political actors in Zimbabwe to deliver integrity and transparency across the country’s transition, including a level playing field ahead of the upcoming elections.
They reaffirmed how important it is that the electoral process and subsequent actions lead to a significant strengthening of civilian authority at all levels of the state.
The concerns of civil society around rule of law, security and a fair process of electoral registration need to be heard before, during and after the elections to help ensure legitimacy.
The Elders encouraged the Government of Zimbabwe to foster open dialogue with opposition representatives, civil society, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, the United Nations and the wider international community.
They called on the Government and all other stakeholders to promote greater transparency and accountability in the management of the economy. Sustained action is needed to eradicate fraud and corruption, and establish an inclusive approach to economic recovery and development.
Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former United Nations Secretary-General, said:
“Zimbabwe is on the long road to recovery. The upcoming elections are an important first step on this path to democratic and civilian government, but they cannot be an end in themselves. Only a long-term process of national renewal will allow the country to reach its full potential.”
Graça Machel, co-founder of The Elders with Nelson Mandela, added:
“The people of Zimbabwe have suffered for too long from autocratic rule, cronyism and economic mismanagement. These challenges can be overcome if the Government convenes free and fair elections and clamps down on corruption. The Elders affirm the people of Zimbabwe’s long-deferred dream for a better country, and stand with them in the months and years ahead.”