Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan Arrives In Zimbabwe along with a team from ‘The Elders’ have arrived in Zimbabwe for a three-day trip to engage political stakeholders ahead of general elections slated for later this month.
Annan is joined by Mary Robinson‚ former president of Ireland‚ and Lakhdar Brahimi‚ an Algerian career diplomat‚ for their three-day mission in Zimbabwe to assess the country’s preparedness for the all-important polls.
During the Zimbabwe visit, they expected among others to meet political leaders, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the diplomatic community, civil society representatives, and media.
Zimbabwe will be holding the first election since the military forced Robert Mugabe out of office in an apparent coup in November last year.
Kofi Annan Arrives In ZimbabweThe Elders’ visit at a time when most of the disgruntlement against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the ruling Zanu-PF is coming from the MDC Alliance.
This week‚ the commission’s chairperson‚ Justice Priscilla Chigumba‚ said in a radio interview that the electoral body’s website was hacked and crucial information cloned.
“That was a serious cyber security breach. They actually cloned our site and we are in the process of doing something about it and we should have that site taken down in the course of the week‚” she said.
The alleged hacking was brought to light a week after Zanu-PF sent text messages to registered voters on their mobile phones asking for votes.
Leading mobile phone operator Econet distanced itself from the bulk messages‚ prompting the opposition to suggest that the electoral body was working in cohorts with the ruling party.
As such‚ the MDC Alliance is preparing to picket outside the electoral body’s offices until the eve of the election if the party’s queries are not addressed.
“People will be staying at the offices. We will start in Harare‚ but we will have teams in all the provinces so that nothing will happen until we get a satisfactory response‚” the MDC Alliance said.