Many retired African leaders are roped in by observer missions. As others are tasked with peace-seeking endeavours, some straddle the responsibilities. They may have retired from politics but they remain active on the continent.

Deployed by the continental body in mediation capacities, the former Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete is involved in the Libyan question.

He is also in the country as head of the African Union Observer Mission for the elections.  “We have been to different polling stations. We are happy with the process and they opened on time.”

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki cast his ballot, having just returned from Addis Abba, Ethiopia. He spends most of his time in Sudan where he is working with the United Nations trying to resolve the conflict in the country.

On Thursday he is off to Malawi. “The Commonwealth requested me to lead its team to Malawi where we are going to observe elections there. The aim is to help the country to hold free and fair elections.”

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is also in South Africa as head of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.