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Zimbabwe: African Leaders Speak Out
Jun 14, 2008 (080614)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
Two weeks before the presidential run-off elections in Zimbabwe,
over forty prominent African leaders have released an urgent call
for free, fair, peaceful, and transparent elections. The open
letter was published on June 13 and June 14 in full-page
advertisements in South Africa's Business Day, the Financial Times,
and the New York Times. The initial signatories included 18 former
presidents or prime ministers, two Nobel Laureates, musicians
Youssou N'Dour and Angelique Kidjo, and former United Nations
Secretaries General Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali. It was
sponsored by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, founded and directed by
African mobile phone magnate Mo Ibrahim.
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains the full letter and list of
initial signatories. It is also available, and open to additional
signatories, at http://www.zimbabwe-27june.com
For previous AfricaFocus bulletins on Zimbabwe, see
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Africans Call for Free and Fair Elections in Zimbabwe
Prominent African civil society leaders have united to call for an
end to violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe ahead of the elections
on June 27 2008.
In this open letter, former heads of state, business leaders,
academics and leading campaigners call for the presidential
election to be conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner that
allows the citizens of Zimbabwe to express freely their will.
This is crucial for the interests of Zimbabwe, and for Africa as a
We invite you as individuals, and as representatives of civil
society organisations to join our call by adding your signature to
the letter. Go to http://www.zimbabwe-27june.com to add your
Let your voice be heard.
Thank you for your support.
media enquiries: media@zimbabwe-27June.com
This is an African initiative supported by an African foundation.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org)
It is crucial for the interests of both Zimbabwe and Africa that
the upcoming elections are free and fair.
Zimbabweans fought for liberation in order to be able to determine
their own future. Great sacrifices were made during the liberation
struggle. To live up to the aspirations of those who sacrificed, it
is vital that nothing is done to deny the legitimate expression of
the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
As Africans we consider the forthcoming elections to be critical.
We are aware of the attention of the world. More significantly we
are conscious of the huge number of Africans who want to see a
stable, democratic and peaceful Zimbabwe.
Consequently, we are deeply troubled by the current reports of
intimidation, harassment and violence. It is vital that the
appropriate conditions are created so that the Presidential run-off
is conducted in a peaceful, free and fair manner. Only then can the
political parties conduct their election campaigning in a way that
enables the citizens to express freely their political will.
In this context, we call for an end to the violence and
intimidation, and the restoration of full access for humanitarian
and aid agencies.
To this end it will be necessary to have an adequate number of
independent electoral observers, both during the election process
and to verify the results.
Whatever the outcome of the election, it will be vital for all
Zimbabweans to come together in a spirit of reconciliation to
secure Zimbabwe's future.
We further call upon African leaders at all levels pan-African,
regional and national - and their institutions to ensure the
achievement of these objectives.
The initial signatories are:
Abdusalami Alhaji Abubakar Former President of Nigeria (1998 -
Kofi Annan Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997 -
2007), Nobel Laureate and member of The Elders
Kwame Appiah Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of
Philosophy at Princeton University
Boutros Boutros-Ghali Former Secretary-General of the United
Nations (1992 - 1997)
Lakhdar Brahimi Former United Nations Special Representative for
Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq and South Africa, member of The Elders
Pierre Buyoya Former President of Burundi (1987 - 1993, 1996 -
Joaquim Chissano Former President of Mozambique (1986 - 2005)
John Githongo Former Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics
Richard Goldstone Former Judge of the Constitutional Court of South
Mo Ibrahim Founder of Celtel International and Founder of the Mo
Sam Jonah Former Chief Executive of the Ashanti Goldfields
William Kalema Chairman of the Uganda Investment Authority
Kenneth David Kaunda Former President of Zambia (1964 - 1991)
Angelique Kidjo Musician and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Wangari Maathai Founder of the Green Belt Movement and Nobel
Graça Machel President for the Foundation for Community Development
and member of The Elders
Ketumile Masire Former President of Botswana (1980 - 1998)
Moeletsi Mbeki Deputy Chairman of the South African Institute of
Benjamin William Mkapa Former President of Tanzania (1995 - 2005)
Festus Mogae Former President of Botswana (1998 - 2008)
António Mascarenhas Monteiro Former President of Cape Verde (1991
Elson Bakili Muluzi Former President of Malawi (1994 - 2004)
Ali Hassan Mwinyi Former President of Tanzania (1985 - 1995)
Kumi Naidoo Secretary General of CIVICUS
Domitien Ndayizeye Former President of Burundi (2003 - 2005)
Babacar Ndiaye Former President of the African Development Bank
Youssou N'Dour Musician and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Njongonkulu Ndungane Former Archbishop of Cape Town and Founder of
the African Monitor
Moustapha Niasse Former Prime Minister of Senegal (1983, 2000 -
Loyiso Nongxa Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of
Karl Offman Former President of Mauritius (2002 - 2003)
Mamphela Ramphele Former Managing Director of the World Bank and
former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town
Jerry John Rawlings Former President of Ghana (1993 - 2001)
Johann Rupert Chairman of Remgro Limited
Mohammed Sahnoun Former UN/OAU Special Representative for the Great
Lakes region of Africa and former Assistant Secretary-General of
Salim Ahmed Salim Former Prime Minister of Tanzania (1994 - 1995)
and former Secretary-General of the OAU (1989 - 2001)
John Sentamu Archbishop of York
Nicéphore Dieudonné‚ Soglo Former President of Benin (1991 - 1996)
Miguel Trovoada Former President of São Tomé and Príncipe (1991 -
Desmond Tutu Nobel Laureate and Chairman of The Elders
Cassam Uteem Former President of Mauritius (1992 - 2002)
Zwelinzima Vavi General Secretary of the Congress of South African
Joseph Sinde Warioba Former Prime Minister of Tanzania (1985 -
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