The Elders call on Zimbabwe's political leaders to enter into a dialogue, create a democratic and effective government and start a process of reconciliation and healing.
As The Elders meet in Johannesburg, in the wake of a Zimbabwean election that African observers deemed to be neither free nor fair, the people of Zimbabwe are living in an atmosphere of continued political violence, their economy is in a freefall, and uncertainty is a central feature of their daily lives.
This crisis of governance must not be allowed to continue, for human lives and livelihoods are at stake. We all have an interest in and all share a responsibility for its resolution.
The Elders therefore call for a speedy and robust mediation to resolve the political crisis, create a democratic and effective government and start a process of reconciliation and healing.
That mediation effort should have but one master: the Zimbabwean people. And they in turn should know that they have the support of the international community. They do not stand alone.
Progress requires certain conditions to which all parties must agree and upon which responsible parties must act;
- The political violence must stop.
- Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangarai must be able to enter into a dialogue on an equal footing, as two leaders.
- Political prisoners must be released.
- The duly elected Parliament must be convened.
- Humanitarian agencies must be allowed to resume their work of assisting the people.
- And the current interim Zimbabwean government must meet its responsibility to protect its citizens.
The Zimbabwean people deserve security, true democracy and a process of reconciliation upon which lasting peace can be built. Set aside the political ambitions of a few, and work to achieve the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people.
Let Zimbabwe return to its greatness and its rightful place in the international community.