Mugabe moves to force EU summit invite

via Mugabe moves to force EU summit invite 02/02/2014 NewZimbabwe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has rallied the backing of fellow African leaders in his bid to force an invitation to the EU-African Union summit set for Brussels in April this year.

Previous EU-AU summits have been rocked by controversy over the Zimbabwean leader who is banned from travelling to Europe under sanctions imposed to punish alleged human rights abuses and suspected electoral fraud.

The 2007 meeting in Portugal had to be deferred as Britain opposed Mugabe’s invitation while African leaders said they would not attend if he wasn’t welcome.

In the end Mugabe travelled to Lisbon while Gordon Brown, then British premier, boycotted the summit.

African leaders agreed at an AU summit in Ethiopia last week that they would not travel to Brussels in April if the Zimbabwean strong-man was not invited.

“The Africa Union has resolved to move as a united front on issues of governance and international policy,” said Zambia foreign minister Wylbur Simuusa.

“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.

Zimbabwean foreign affairs minister, Simbarashe Mumbengewi, confirmed the development as Mugabe returned from Ethiopia on Saturday.

Addressing reporters in Harare, Mumbengegwi said he was confident the EU would allow Mugabe to attend the meeting.

“It seems they (EU) have very short memories,” he said.

“Of course, Africa took a very firm position to say if President Mugabe is not invited to this Summit, then there will be no Summit because no African Head of State was going to attend a Summit where President Mugabe is being excluded.

“That is the decision that was taken at the African Union that all Heads of State and Government must be invited without exception if the Summit is going to take place. And so, faced with this situation, I do not think the European Union has any option.

“As it is, I do not know if the invitation has arrived yet, but we know that it will have to come because they want the Summit to go ahead and Africa will only go there if President Mugabe is invited to this Summit.

“After all, President Mugabe is now the First Deputy President of the African Union. How can you hold a Summit between two organisations and then one organisation has the arrogance to say to the other, ‘Yes, let’s meet as two organisations, but we don’t want your Deputy President to be present.’ I mean this is madness! This is just madness!

“The AU Commission has been tasked to follow up on this decision of the African Union that each and every Head of State must be invited. They have been mandated to follow up this issue and ensure that it is done because, if it is not done, then there is no Summit.”

Mugabe wants the sanctions, which he blames for Zimbabwe’s continuing economic turmoil lifted.

The Zanu PF leader had hoped his re-election last July in polls widely accepted as free of violence would leave Brussels with no choice but to remove the restrictions.

But the EU, along with United States, refused to endorse his victory, backing opposition claims that the vote was fraudulent.

A furious Mugabe rejected the criticism and said Zimbabwe would look East to “all-weather” supporters such as China for help.

“We dismiss them as the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn,” Mugabe said venting against Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States during his inauguration last August.

“Most likely we shall remain under these sanctions for much longer (but) we continue to look East.”

He would later back-down somewhat, admitting Zimbabwe needed access to European markets.

“We want the removal of economic sanctions so we can export beef to Europe. Let’s get to trade,” the Zanu PF leader said during a meeting with diplomats from France, Germany and Holland in October.

“Let our flowers find home in the Netherlands. Let our greens find their way into the Dutch market but for as long as there are sanctions, this will be difficult.

“We do not want to visit France. I do not want your girls. I do not want to visit France for romantic purposes. I want to develop relations between us.”



  • comment-avatar
    yvonne janssen 9 years ago

    So why is the AU not telling Obama that Mugabe must attend the summit in the United States? And if mugabe doesn’t attend they will not?

    • comment-avatar
      Redemption 9 years ago

      USA is one country unlike EU made up of several countries. So if AU was to take this stance, they know Obama is restricted by ZIDERA, and he will tell all the dictators to go to hell.

      The AU and that Dhlamini Zuma are a bunch of pigs always wanting to appease deceptive, Nikuv reliant dictators. Shame ob the AU for siding with an election rigging, pretentious self righteous, evasive and unprincipled statesman

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    By this action, the AU has just shown that increasing trade with the EU to increase the economic development of their people is not as important as protecting the pride of a dictator and muderer. By alighting themselves with Mugabe, they are condoning his acts as their own. This is a sad day for the people of Africa. Even if the meeting still occurrs, the west will continue to withold major investment from the continent and specifically Zimbabwe because the AU had just shown that they do not care about ethics, morality, good governance, democracy or justice. Investors will think twice after this petulant display, because Africa is not ready for the big leagues.

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    Memories come to mind of trends and events in SADC regarding Zimbabwe when Nkosazana Zuma was Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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    Mena Bona 9 years ago

    Stuff the African Union. Africa needs them a lot more than they need Africa. The mongrels are giving Africa to the Chinese, lock, stock and barrel. Meanwhile the African man in the street has no choice. Africa now needs leaders and not looters. Thieving pigs are what most African leaders are.

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    Harper 9 years ago

    Let him go to Brussels, it did for Napoleon.

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    Yvonne Janssen 9 years ago

    Why hasn’t the AU force the United States to invite Mugabe? Dark continent with very dark ideas. South Africa is just a problem country.

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    farai 9 years ago

    The EU will loose all influence in Africa by picking a fight with one small country with a strong ideology that has Africa wide appeal. Try as they might to destroy the man and his big idea, they have only managed to attract interest and attention. Now everyone knows and the ordinary Africans are very keen way ahead of some of their leaders! Insults won’t change anything, the Mugabe doctrine has spawned on fertile ground.

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    Mapfumo 9 years ago

    What does he want in the white man’s land which he despises so much? Africa is led by clowns, for that reason, it shall ALWAYS be under-developed when the rest of the world moves forward.

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    What is he going to the EU summit for? African leaders ar a bunch of useless , stupid nd idiotic fools. They dont hv vision or a clue of how to deliver Africans out of misery which z cauzed by greediness, selfishness, corruption nd cruelty on the part of thoz so called leaders. They ar doin nothing except lining their pockets wth money nd investin tht money in foreign countries. Its really sad. They sellouts coz they ar plunderin our resources nd givin them to the chinese who pay them nuts but they dnt care coz tht money will be enough for themselves nd their families nd friends. Tht old wheel chair bound scoundrel wl die in a plane i tell u.

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    Clive Sutherland 9 years ago

    Proof that there will be no change in Zimbabwe for the better, I have said it before, that while the sadc and AU support RGM they are condoning all that takes place in Zimbabwe and fully support Zanupf policies.

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    Ruramai 9 years ago

    Everyone is aware that Mugabe no longer has thw energy to participate meaningfully in any meetings and discussions. So, we the overburdened tax payers are going to pay for the old man to go and sleep during another conference. Sigh! I suppose we can all wait for the videos and photos of him and his delegation in deep sleep, slumped in their chairs to do the rounds in social media. We will therefore pay millions in travel expenses in return for a few laughs. Truly tragic.

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    How can u force some1 to invite u? After ddnt we tell them keep yo countries and told them to go hang. Suppose he forces them to invite them, will that force them to lift sanctions and throw e money in e bottomless pity called Zim?

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    Mthwakazi 9 years ago

    But vele, vele, why is the Shona Gukurahundi so desperate to visit the west? I thought there was this look east policy? What happened to it?