Africa threatens EU summit snub over #mugabe

via Africa threatens EU summit snub over Mugabe | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Monday, February 3, 2014

The African Union (AU) has threatened to withdraw from a planned trade and investment summit with the European Union (EU), if the Western bloc does not invite Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe, who turns 90 years old this month, was elected First Vice-Chair of the influential AU executive council during last week’s General Assembly meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The appointment makes him eligible for the chairmanship of the AU in 2015.

The appointment also reportedly renders “futile” a decision by the EU not to invite him to a summit of the two blocs set for Belgium in April. The ZANU PF leader remains targeted under the EU’s list of restrictive measures, which prevents him and a handful of other ZANU PF officials from European travel.

But Africa’s leaders have now rallied behind Mugabe, whose position as President remains disputed by civil society groups and the opposition MDC parties in Zimbabwe.

According to the Zambian Foreign Affairs Minister, Wylbur Simuusa, the AU resolved to snub the EU summit if Mugabe is not invited.

“We must now speak with one voice and make sure we act in the interest of Africa. That is why for the EU-Africa summit coming up, where Zimbabwe has been singled out with restrictions for President Robert Mugabe from attending, the position that the AU has taken is that if Zimbabwe won’t go, then Africa will not go and that has been agreed upon,” Simuusa said.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi also confirmed the position taken by the AU on his return from Ethiopia on Saturday.

The EU has in recent months been steadily re-engaging with the ZANU PF regime, despite the widespread reports of vote rigging and other irregularities that marred the Zim elections last year. This re-engagement has included removing the majority of its targeted Zim restrictions, with only Mugabe, nine other people and one company still listed.

EU leaders will be meeting later this month to determine if the remaining measures should also be lifted, and there is speculation that this will be the ultimate decision from Europe.

UK based Zimbabwean activist Ephraim Tapa told SW Radio Africa that the EU has likely been engineering Mugabe’s acceptance back into diplomatic circles, “because there is a fight for access to Zimbabwe’s natural resources.”

Belgium, Europe’s diamond trade capital, successfully led the push for the lifting of measures that barred it from trading in Zimbabwe’s controversial Chiadzwa diamonds. Tapa said similar “greedy” motives might have engineered Mugabe’s promotion to a top leadership position at the AU.

“The AU position was expected since they endorsed Zimbabwe’s elections without saying the process was fair, so now they are trying to normalise the abnormal. But the EU position goes against international principles of human rights, and it is all about diamonds,” Tapa said.

Former Chegutu farmer turned activist Ben Freeth said the developments in Africa were a real concern for democracy and human rights across the continent. Freeth, who has led key legal battles against Mugabe, told SW Radio Africa that the AU’s defense of Mugabe in this way is “preposterous.”

“It is preposterous that a man who has committed genocide, who has destroyed the rule of law, destroyed his own country’s economy, who has been the cause of a quarter of the population leaving the country because of what he has done, is elected by other African leaders to a top position,” Free said.

He added: “Africa can’t progress when its leaders are dictators. And to say a man is great and give him such power on the basis of what he has destroyed, is very concerning for Africa’s future,” Freeth said.

Meanwhile, the AU has also urged its members to unite to protect more of its fellows in preventing criminal proceedings at the International Criminal Court against sitting presidents. The AU said it was disappointed that a request to the UN Security Council to defer the trials of Kenya’s leaders “has not yielded the positive result expected”. The African Union also has sought the deferral of criminal proceedings against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged with genocide in Darfur.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto face charges of crimes against humanity at the international court at The Hague for allegedly orchestrating post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people following a disputed presidential election in late 2007. Both men deny the charges.


  • comment-avatar
    fatso 7 years ago

    Why is it AU has allowed Asians to dominate the emploment market in Africa? Most projects in africa are being done by ASians why??? African Leaders need to protect these jobs for Africans. Africans are more competant than Asians

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    So stay at home and suck your thumbs while you poop in your diapers. Real leaders put their citizens needs first, not their own.

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    Ruramai 7 years ago

    The losers who run the continent are fighting for Muhabe to go and nap at yet another summit. Surely they are aware that all he does is sleep. No wonder Africa will remain at the bottom of the pile.

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    Kuakwa Katiyo 7 years ago

    EU should just say OK stay with your mugarbage, we really don’t want a stinker here period.

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    John Thomas 7 years ago

    The Europeans will cave. They will pander to this nonsense knowing that as long as we are dysfunctional we will never get our act together and challenge them as equals

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    What a great message from the AU….crimes against humanity will not be punished because black African leaders are above the law.Is there no integrity in any African institution, AU and SADC being examples of such lack?

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    mujibha 7 years ago

    AU what a bunch of idiots, how could they choose someone like mugabe to lead them if they think EU is going to lift sunctions because is now a leader of AU they r cheating themselves. These r the same idiots who pushed this old man to grab farms and after our idiot leader listens to them what did they do, they ask our farmers to come and farm in their countries, now we r begging them to sell us food. I say to EU pls don’t invite this idiot, killer, devil, witch if he other dictators boycot the meeting is their problem. If u invite him u r accepting his leadership from a stolen election.

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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    The AU are hoping Bobby boy dies before the EU summit?WISHFULL THINKING.

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      Ruramai 7 years ago

      Nyoni, they don’t want him to die. They just want him to keep proving that he is an idiot who will forever keep his country in a beggar status. No one cam do it better.

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    Senzachena 7 years ago

    If the EU have any brains, they will tell the AU to go to hell and cancel the conference. The AU beggers will soon come running with their begging bowls. Trash

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    Mthwakazi 7 years ago

    Instead of risking Europe and African economic interests, I think the EU should let the Shona gukurahundi in for shopping; he is about to die after all. Gukurahundi Mugabe is so desperate he had to conjure up this vice president idea just to to be allowed into Europe via the back door. Let the Gukurahundi thug in bathooo!!

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    Mthwakazi 7 years ago


    “The European Union requests the company of His Excellency, the President of the Great Zimbabwe Gukurahundi Republic; Comrade Shona Gukurahundi Gabriel Mugabe, at its Annual Eu/Africa summit schedule for the date………….”

    “We look forward to recieving his Excellency and be assured of our hospitality and our right to arrest and detain you sir, should the need arise.”

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    There is no human dignity left. It’s all about money greed and power. It’s not a good reflection on the majority of us humans who abhor injustice but see it practice by those whom we entrust to run our countries.

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    Blacks arrived first in the world cos thats where the sun shined.Unfortunately the sun keeps shining and it has over cooked their heads and slowed down in brains and the cooked has crooked.Ian Khama was black and white in genes and blood as is Obama and they can be so superior.

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    Johnboy 7 years ago

    Several years ago a survey was conducted across the nation to ascertain what improvements had been achieved by Robert Mugabe since taking over power from the white imperialists. So far no replies have been received.