Pillay tells Mugabe to ensure free polls

2012-05-23 20:10

Harare – The UN rights chief Navi Pillay told veteran Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe in talks on Wednesday to ensure fair and violence-free elections when the country finally votes to pick a new leader.

Pillay is in Zimbabwe for a five-day visit at the invitation of Mugabe's government.

"I also urged him to ensure that the future elections will be free and fair, and free from violence," Pillay said after the 90-minute meeting with Mugabe at State House, in the capital Harare.

Deadly violence engulfed the last presidential election four years ago.

In a speech marking the country's 32nd independence anniversary last month Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to shun violence ahead of polls whose date is not yet set, but which he insists be held this year.

"I commended the president for making a call that there should be no violence in the future elections and urged him to continue to make such calls," Pillay said Wednesday.

Mugabe did not speak to reporters after the talks.

But Pillay said their meeting was "very important", adding that the 88-year-old leader had recounted "the past history of Zimbabwe and attributed some of the current problems to the past".

Pillay also met earlier in the week with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who joined the long-ruling Mugabe in a unity government formed in 2009 to halt the election-linked bloodshed that killed more than 200 of the premier's supporters.

Mugabe, 88, has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

The unity government is meant to clear the way to new elections, but preparations are lagging years behind and no date has been set.

  • Squeegee - 2012-05-23 20:27

    Wasted trip.

      grootrot.vanzyl - 2012-05-24 09:18

      I agree, the statement is similar to say to my Dobermans that they must not eat biltong. At least the Dobermans listen when I tell them to go outside and they know that there will be consequences if they do not. This is a great tacit acceptance of the stealing of elections that goes back to 2002. Once again, at least the Dobermans eat biltong when it is dropped on the floor, they dont attack us for it. Where is Mbeki's voice, where is the condemning of human rights violations by one Zuma, that felt violated by a painting. If that is the benchmark, the army should have been in Zim by now.

      Wilbert - 2012-05-24 14:18

      I agree, it was a wasted trip. This is the kind of interaction Mugabe thrives on where he is allowed on a big platform to pay lip service to serious issues whilst away from the spotlight it is business as usual. Ms Pillay should ask Mugabe why no one has ever been arrested following the murder of over 500 people in 2008 elections and a further 50 since in politically motivated violence. She should ask why the Police have been "instructed" not to arrest known Zanu PF thugs, according to MDC Home Affairs Minister. No doubt, Ms Pillay's report will be the usual slap on the wrist for Mugabe and meanwhile the human rights nightmare situation in Zimbabwe continues!

  • Jacob - 2012-05-23 20:35

    Tell him the concequences otherwise its the same as receiving diamonds to shut up.

  • Warren - 2012-05-23 20:37

    Words...yep that'll do the trick

  • Kevin - 2012-05-23 21:23

    Naive, dumb, doesn't read, never spoke to any of the victims, and has no power to push her agenda. This will be as successful as her efforts to stop human rights abuses in Syria. She is an embarrassment to South Africa and the United Nations.

  • Donovan De Swardt - 2012-05-23 21:25

    thats right Pillay, you tell him to have free and fair elections, im sure no one has told him to do that over the last 12 years, now we can all sleep well knowing that Pillay has ensured that the elections will be free.

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-05-23 22:12

    That's like requesting Satan to make Hell airconditioned.

  • Carl - 2012-05-23 22:29

    32 years of rule! and he still recounts to Pillay "the past history of Zimbabwe and attributed some of the current problems to the past".Mugabe, you failed your people and promised them "freedom".Pillay you're to late, maybe you should have a cup of tea here in South Africa! (hint, hint)

      UncleShep - 2012-05-24 09:50

      dumb ass!

  • hein.huyser - 2012-05-24 06:05

    And Mugabs will listen to her? Instead of having permanent independent observers placed in Zim that only reports to the UN etc. This is pathetic. For mad-Bob not to intimidate and kill is the same as asking for a fish to stop swimming.

  • Thami - 2012-05-24 10:09

    Geez NEWS24, i watched the interview after Ms Pillay met His Excellency and this is all you can report on? The reason why many people hate President Mugabe is the land reform.Surely a mention of what Ms Pillay said about this would suffice. Anyway she said "Poor people and women now have the dignity to produce and see their children going up to university." So lets have balanced reporting that will give readers a clear picture and stop stoking controversy. There is no violence in Zimbabwe and there never will be. As a sovereign nation we will have our elections this year.

      keith.ngobeni - 2012-05-24 15:15

      @ thami you're vomiting your verbal diarrhea within the borders of south Africa, if Zimbabwe is fine according to your claims what are the 4million Zimbabweans doing in south Africa and the others doing in the Western countries, you're one of those stupid bastards praising the man who is responsible for the deaths and sufferings of millions of innocent people, go and flash yourself you looser cretin.

      Henry - 2012-05-24 15:25

      "His Excellency",LOL Almost fell out my chair laughing at the absurdity of calling that disgusting,lowlife,vile,disgraceful un-human thug b@stard "His Excellency". Please Thami,you are not really welcome in RSA,go back to your nirvana

  • mart.botha - 2012-05-24 14:55

    Like 'asking a rabid dog to be kind to children' !!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-24 15:05

    they have never happened before so what makes you think they will happen now?

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