via EU sticks to its guns, denies Grace Mugabe visa – Nehanda Radio Mar 27, 2014
The European Union has refused to reconsider its earlier decision to deny President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, a visa to attend the EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, Belgium, next week.
According to reports EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Ariccia said “We have followed all our procedures in relation to granting visas to persons on the sanctions list and the decision is unanimous that her visa application be denied.”
The 90-year-old Zimbabwean leader has threatened to boycott the summit if his wife is not granted the visa. There are also reports he is trying to mobilise other African Union and SADC member states to boycott in solidarity with his position.
Foreign Affairs secretary Joey Bimha said Mugabe’s attendance now hinged on the position that will be adopted by the AU.
“The permanent representatives of member states are currently meeting in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) over the matter and as a country we will stand guided by its (AU) decision,” Bimha is quoted as saying.
There is a growing feeling in some quarters that the First Lady Grace Mugabe has effectively become the caregiver for President Mugabe who is 90 years old. This they argue is the reason for Mugabe’s insistence on travelling with her.
The EU removed most individuals and companies linked to the Mugabe regime from their targeted sanctions list but retained Mugabe and his wife. The sanctions were put in place in response to gross human rights abuses.
Former St Mary’s opposition legislator Job Sikhala was very direct in his assessment.
“The nonsensical hullaballo about Grace Mugabe being denied a visa to go to to EU-Africa Summit as if she was going to present some paper about Zimbabwe is the sickening story of the week.
Generally, Mugabe travels with a bloated delegation of between 80 to 100 people every time he goes to some summit and blow not less than $10 million per every summit. You tend to wonder what business will Grace Mugabe represent except shopping.
“All Zimbabweans know that when Mugabe is busy dozing in the Summits, Grace will be busy traversing one street to the other, shopping everything coming into her sight with glittering signs.
“Africa can not be held to ransom because of the greediness of one First Lady from some poor country whose husband and her greediness has destroyed that country.
“Zimbabwe deserves better than the greediness of the Mugabes. She must remain behind to shout her voice hoarse over the civil servants salaries that are facing the challenge of not being paid for the first time in the history of this country since independence.
“Ndoozvinofanira kuita first lady izvozvo kwete zvekuchemera kuno shopper!!!!”