Mnangagwa mourns Kofi Annan

Former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the State House in Harare while fellow members of “The Elders” group Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, and Lakhdar Brahimi, an Algerian career diplomat look on, July 20, 2018. (S. Mhofu/VOA)

HARARE – Embattled Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed his sincere condolences to the Annan family, the government and people of Ghana following the death of former UN Secretary General and a member of the Elders, Kofi Annan yesterday.

In a statement, Mnangagwa said he learnt with profound grief, shock and sadness of the passing on of Mr Annan, whom he described as an unwavering internationalist.

“Mr Kofi Annan, a distinguished son of Africa, excelled in his diplomatic career spanning over 50 years, and most importantly as the highly respected Secretary General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. During that epoch, he was instrumental to the strengthening of multilateralism in tackling global challenges, particularly in the areas of peace, security and development. Amongst other notable milestones, Mr Annan led the UN in winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his and the UN’s sterling efforts in peace initiatives throughout the world,” said Cde Mnangagwa.

He added that Mr Annan will be remembered for, among other accomplishments, the Millennium Development Goals, which, for the first time, set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality.

“He will be dearly missed on the African continent and in the developing world for his devotion to promoting the interests of the marginalised in Africa and throughout the world.

The people of Zimbabwe recall his visit to the country only last month, as part of the Elders, on a mission to engage the Government and the people on their efforts to entrench a lasting democratic culture. His message then was for the nation to remain united and to hold elections in a peaceful manner,” the President said.

Mnangagwa also said Mr Annan’s death has robbed his country, the African continent and the entire international community of a peacemaker and distinguished statesman par excellence, who dedicated his entire life to the betterment of humankind and the creation of a world appreciated by all.

“This is indeed the legacy he bequeaths to us all, a peaceful world we and future generations will be proud to call home,” said President Mnangagwa, adding that the Annan family and the people of Ghana should find solace in the fact that their loss is shared by the entire continent and that the whole world. – ZBC