#mugabe mulling EU summit boycott over Grace

via Mugabe mulling EU summit boycott over Grace | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The upcoming summit between African and European Union (EU) leaders could be in doubt, with Robert Mugabe mulling a boycott if his wife is not granted a travel visa to join him.

The fourth EU-Africa summit is set to take place in Brussels, Belgium, on the 2nd to the 3rd April under the theme “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”.

Mugabe was invited despite remaining a target of the EU’s restrictive measures that prohibit European travel. The ZANU PF leader’s wife is also targeted with the measures, which were significantly reduced by the EU last month.

But despite Grace Mugabe playing no diplomatic role in the upcoming talks, the failure by the EU to invite her and extend a travel visa to her has angered her 90 year old spouse. Grace is often referred to as the ‘First Shopper’ of Zimbabwe, and is known for her opulent spending sprees during overseas travel. The measures against her and husband are also commonly referred to as ‘shopping sanctions’ because they prevent the fashion conscious Grace from spending in Europe.

EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Ariccia, stated this week that the European bloc “invited those with a role to play at the meetings and the programmes of the meetings don’t have any role for spouses.”

But Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba blasted the EU position, telling the state media that the stance was “strange”.

“It’s very strange that the EU has not extended an invitation to the First Lady. What God has put together the EU is trying to separate. Do they expect the President to respect the EU and disrespect his own marriage?” Charamba was quoted as saying.

Mugabe is reportedly also fuming over the EU’s decision not to invite his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, who faces war crimes and genocide charges before the International Criminal Court. Also left off the invite list is the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, an African Union (AU) member. This has also prompted speculation of a possible boycott of the meeting by Mugabe.

It was originally unclear if Mugabe himself would be invited to the summit. But the EU appeared to give in to pressure from the AU which had threatened to withdraw from the meeting if Mugabe was not invited. This was stated shortly after an AU meeting in February where Mugabe was appointed to the First Deputy Chair of the AU. This puts him in line to take over as the AU Chair next year.

Former diplomat and political commentator Clifford Mashiri said the EU’s repeated capitulations to accommodate Mugabe meant the bloc has lost credibility. He told SW Radio Africa that he wouldn’t be surprised if the EU gave in to the pressure to give Grace a visa.

“The EU has created a problem for itself by even entertaining these African dictators. It has lost credibility and allowed itself to be swayed by its economic interests,” Mashiri said.

Europe has been increasing its re-engagement efforts with ZANU PF ever since the party secured a contested ‘victory’ at last year’s elections. The efforts to ‘normalise’ bilateral relations have been spearheaded by Belgium, the diamond capital of Europe, amid criticism that the economic gains of the European nation were being prioritised over the democratic rights of Zimbabweans.

The Antwerp World Diamond Council recently admitted it pushed for the removal of the targeted sanctions on Mugabe’s cronies to ensure it secured the rights to trade in Chiadzwa diamonds.

Meanwhile, the London based protest group the Zimbabwe Vigil is still working out a plan to hold a demonstration against Mugabe’s presence at the EU-Africa summit next week. Vigil coordinator Rose Benton said Tuesday that they will wait to see if Mugabe decides to attend the meeting or not.

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35 comments on “#mugabe mulling EU summit boycott over Grace
  1. Rudadiso says:

    Mugabe makes no meaningful contribution at these summits as he is prone to sleeping all the time – as any 90 year old should. Missing a summit because Grace is not invited is his way of admitting he is of no consequence.

    It would be nice if he boycotted the summit because it would save us millions given he takes over 60 people to these meetings.

  2. SPENCER DAVID WHITE says:

    Mugabe have every right to attend the EU summit. We have witnessed the world super powers abusing other states but none of us breath a word about it. Llets leave d old man alone & admit a west is nw using its economical power to manipulate us. Mugabe wth his impurities he is fighting our battle we might not like his methods but fact is if he wins he wins for us all.

    • supermondo says:

      Mugabe is a coward thief murderer and racist. The Belgium gov are a bunch of lowlifes for sucking up to him for diamonds. His zanu pf party along with the security forces have asset stripped Zimbabwe since 1980 and to put salt on the wound caused 11billion of debts.so Belgium be aware of who you invite to dinner as the world is watching.

    • Stewart says:

      And how is the weather on your planet?

  3. DL says:

    Charamba says, “Do they expect the President to respect the EU and disrespect his own marriage?” but he fails to mention that Mugabe is even more at fault for not respecting the EU’s laws. If their laws say that Grace Mugabe cannot travel to the EU, then that’s all there is to it.

    The fact that Mugabe thinks he’s somehow special and exempt from their rules is just another example of his cavalier attitude twords all rules and laws and how he thinks they do not apply to him.

    Remember, “One man, One farm?” Shouldn’t the thief-in-chief observe that rule, especially because he created it? At last count, I believe he owns 14 farms and Dis-Grace has just thown several thousand people out of their homes at Madzoe Farms so that she can expand her own business.

    The children of Zimbabwe must attend barely functional schools, but where does Mugabe send his children – overseas, because they’re Mugabes and are better then that, right?

    Some of the best optical surgeons in Africa are in Zimbabwe, but does the President use the healthcare system that he’s responsible for? No, he’s special. So he spends millions of dollars to fly a huge retinue to the Far East for a very simple medical procedure.

    People get married all the time, but only a Mugabe gets the local council to pay to have the roads to the reception re-paved for the big day – because he’s SPECIAL.

    • Qiniso says:

      Charamba says, “Do they expect the President to respect the EU and disrespect his own marriage?” but he fails to mention that Mugabe is even more at fault for not respecting the EU’s laws. If their laws say that Grace Mugabe cannot travel to the EU, then that’s all there is to it.
      What laws DL? I fully support Mugabe in standing up for his wife. I definitely don’t agree with his politics but in this case he is absolutely right. Respect your self 1st and your family DL and then politics….kanti ulahleka ngaphi? Vuka. Imuli pambili.

      • DL says:

        Mugabe has shown over and over that he does not respect the families of others. Maybe that’s because he thinks he’s special.

  4. Lindy Lou says:

    Spencer,if that is your real name,did you learn English at school? Please enlighten me as to which battle he is fighting or has ever fought for the People of Zimbabwe.He has destroyed the country to amass massive wealth for himself,family and friends.
    Wake up and smell “The coffee” difficult eh because there isn’t any thanks to Mugabe and Thugs incorporated.

  5. Felix says:

    Grace had not shown herself to have any dignity with her recent thefts in mazoe. She should remain in Zimbabwe doing some proper work picking oranges. She ashames herself.

    • NBS says:

      I agree with Felix absolutely. She is a disgrace to Zimbabwe and no first lady at all. Besides the greedy grabbings at Mazoe remember Iron mask farm. Her lack of mercy and greed have become legendary. No she should stay behind and pick oranges! yes!

  6. Tjingababili says:

    DIS-GRACE!

  7. Smart Talk says:

    May some one enlighten me on this. If Mugabe does not attend, what does Zimbabwe lose, if he does, what does Zimbabwe win. I think we should have been somewhere better than America and Britain if we consider how many summits/functions/seminars this man attends. Adzoka ikoko chii chaanokuudzidzisai, Hapana. Why do we want to waste money for nothing. Iwe mudhara iwe Bhora pasi. I hope iyezvino vakugona chaizvo, nyarawo mhani. Kana Gire ari iye anokupisika inga maCIO aripo akawanda anogona kuzviitawo. Hoo kungoti iye haachadi mumwe munhu dhuze newe nekuti chakachenjera ndechakatanga. Weld a metal one so that you off load wadzoka. Unotonyangadza mudhara iwe.

  8. DW says:

    With Zimbabwe bankrupt he should rather be saving the travel dollars to pay for water for the hospitals!

  9. DL says:

    What an excellent idea! It’s so much cheaper for Mugabe to sleep on his own or

  10. Senzachena says:

    Under no circumstances must the EU yield to pressure from the AU states. However having seen their recent behavior they probably will, all I can say is that if Grace is allowed in the incidents of shop lifting at the better stores in Brussels will increase astronomically! Why should she change her thieving habits!

  11. Nyoni says:

    Smart talk how rlght you are . What is the point of mbodza going there. A waste of time a waste of möney and a waste of sleeping tablets!

  12. Jake says:

    The EU do not issue ‘shopping’ visas.

  13. Hmmm says:

    Countries like Britain and France are Wealthy countries I wonder why we bother ourselves placing the indigenous policy and chasing them away …. look at Britain it allocates £120 billion for welfare what about us we have a £3billion budget let’s stop being hard headed Zimbabwe

  14. Mena Bona says:

    Disgrace is just that. A disgrace. She seduced an old egomaniac while he was still married and has been stealing ever since. Her shoes alone would have cost more than the average Zimbabwean earns in a life time. Where does the money come from? Easy to answer. Blatant theft of Zimbabwe resources ie farms created off the work and sweat of other Zimbabweans. A leach, nothing more nothing less. Her old man just looks on through his rummey old eyes. Neither of these parasites should be entertained anywhere. If it were not for diamonds the Belgium would not have him or her anywhere near. They are just as bad because their lust for Zims Blood Diamonds over shadow every abuse the Mugabe’s have perpetrated.

    • Mlimo says:

      Mena why do you think his eyes have packed up – it’s from looking at graceless too much haha anyone’s eyes would get cataracts looking at her.

  15. Lynne Warner says:

    Only one thing comes to my mind Waaahaaaa haaaaa haaa.

  16. gorongoza says:

    Mugabe just wants to go there and sleep? Spend millions on a huge entourage just to go, sit on a chair, fall asleep, and fart all day?

  17. Rwendo says:

    Is one worrying what one would do without the missus in Europe, or is one worried what she would get up to without one in Harare?

  18. Tongoona says:

    EU decision barring the first lady is good and cheap for Zimbabwe’s meager budget. EU must stick to its decision, that is all.

  19. Isu-zvedu says:

    Rwendo, spot on as usual!

    I wish to inform the Charambas and all zanoids the folly of fielding an old senile dictator and declaring him winner of an election when everything seemed obvious. Morgan Tsvangirai was right to say that he did not imagine any sane Zimbabwean to vote for a dying old man. Well, now look at what we have. Shame! Should we feel pity for wishing Mugabe went everywhere with his wife just so his caretaker issues are cared for?

  20. UMAARI says:

    Mugabe is the only meaningful of that so called summit because if not Mugabe, what should the EU eat!! No way, Mugabe has not been blessed fake papers either dollar or euro money, but has been blessed endless resourceful, you know even the animals such as goat, caw, camel and donkeys turn down the fake papers (Dollar, euro etc) additionally what we need as Africans is the parental lineage of EU and their followers then we can discuss, Africa is one!!

  21. Rwendo says:

    I hope you are taking all your tablets; the red and blue ones twice and the white one at night.

  22. The Truth. says:

    He is a gukurahundi and he and his gukurahundess should both stay in at home in their gukurahundi palace. They will never be missed!!

  23. UMAARI says:

    To tell you the truth TOM, we have something to eat or to feed our children, but your purpose is to destroy Africa and get the resource, no never! Mugabe is the only hero that made cry EU wholly, so as black Africans why can’t we talk about the EUs affairs, we don’t need because, we are rich having enless resources, what is the asset of EU, tell me, their asset is ice and you see our lands is fruitful of everything, get lost!

  24. UMAARI says:

    Who fathered you TOM!! you are missing parental lineage and you intervene Africa, tell me your parental lineage

    • Tom says:

      My dad fathered me umaari. What has lineage got to do with anything? Regardless of whether you like it or not I will comment on anything I damn well please, whether in Zimbabwe or Tooting Broadway. What I do share with the vast majority of people on this forum is the hope that Zimbabwe will rid itself of the scumbags you defend so vigorously. It is a blessing that you are incapable of making any coherent arguments, because you can never influence others with your xenophobic rants.

  25. Lynne Warner says:

    Tom, dont taunt the impaired, its not nice!!! But sooo fun to read, again waaahaaa haaa, the whole idea and principle is once again ridiculous. Like anyone cares if he shows up or not, let alone that wife!, who could do better things like some charity work for her own disenfranchised people……

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