Only Mugabe can speak for Africa, govt

via Only Mugabe can speak for Africa, govt – New Zimbabwe 14/11/2015

A CABINET minister has defended President Robert Mugabe’s attendance at the G-20 summit which starts Sunday in Turkey saying the Zimbabwean strongman is the only leader who could speak for Africa.

Zimbabwe is not a member of the forum which brings together 19 major world economies and the European Union.

South Africa is the only African country on the panel and President Jacob Zuma is attending the meeting.

Mugabe is one of the non-member head of state invited to the summit along with Macky Sall of Senegal. The latter was invited as current head of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Foreign affairs minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, said Mugabe was also invited as current chair of the African Union (AU).

“President Mugabe is the Chair of the African Union. He is the only person who is authorised to speak on behalf of the entire continent,” Mumbengegwi told state media from Turkey.

“Therefore, he has been invited to participate in this G20 summit because the G20 would like to hear the voice of Africa.

“And during President Mugabe’s tenure of office as Chair of the African Union, he and only he can speak on behalf of the entire continent.

“Therefore what he was to say in the deliberations of this summit will be taken very, very seriously as the voice of Africa.”

Mugabe has drawn criticism for his numerous foreign trips.

The opposition says the country cannot afford the constant travelling with an economy battered by a crisis that has lasted nearly 15 years.

The 91-year-old was recently in India for another summit where he was caught on camera struggling to stay on his feet.

He barely avoided tumbling to the ground after his host swiftly came to his aid.

After returning from India, he was soon off to Tanzania for the inauguration of that country’s new president.

Mumbengegwi however, said as AU chairman, Mugabe had to be present at the G20 expected to be attended by Western leaders critical of his rule such as US President Barack Obama and the UK’s David Cameron.

“This is a Summit of the G20, that is 20 of the most industrialised countries who have set up their own grouping to look mainly at various economic issues,” said the minister.

“Now, there is only one African country which is a member — that is South Africa.

“However, there is an arrangement that the Chair of the African Union is also invited in that capacity so that they can speak on behalf of the entire continent.”

Mugabe met Zuma and Senegalese leader, Macky Sall, on Saturday to agree Africa’s position ahead of the summit.

“We had a harmonisation meeting before the opening of the summit,” Sall told reporters after the meeting.

“It is necessary that the positions we defend are harmonised on the issues to be raised from tomorrow (Sunday, such as), growth, employment, investment, migration and climate change.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff as well as the leaders Mexico, South Korea, and Australia arrived Saturday for the summit which will be held in the resort town of Antalya.


  • comment-avatar

    Mugabe did not attend any meetings this morning (Monday) because he had already left in his aircraft to fly back to Zimbabwe. His aircraft is currently flying overhead Southern Sudan, at 17.15hrs and is scheduled to land in Harare in about 3.5 hours time (8.30-9.00pm this evening). All heads of state are currently speaking live on Television now, so why did Mugabe leave early. Was he told to leave? I think somebody ‘put him up’ for this trip to embarrass him.

    • comment-avatar
      Doris 7 years ago

      Nah, the idiot is arrogant enough to think he would be welcomed. Hope he feels a chop.

  • comment-avatar
    Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

    These people make a fuss out of nothing in order to elevate Mugabe.

    Mugabe was invited to the summit as a representative of the African Union but there was no suggestion that he was going to say something. All he has to do is attend and then report back to the AU.

    At the summit Mugabe was not given a platform to speak and so saying that he speaks for Africa is a bit over the top and therefore uncalled for. He was not expected to speak in the first place.

    • comment-avatar
      Doris 7 years ago

      Well if that is true, not only was it a waste of time and money for him to be there, but it shows how unimportant he is to Africa.

      • comment-avatar
        Yayano 7 years ago

        @Doris, in the Zimbabwean context its a sheer waste of money because the country will get no return from this summit. The AU will better get an update from the South Africans and not from Mugabe.
        Mugabe being inept as he is will busy sleeping during the summit and just being happy to be there.
        Better leaders would take advantage and use the golden opportunity to see how they can bring business to their country esp. when you are at a meeting of the 19 most industrialised countries in the world plus the EU.
        Last time I checked business and Mugabe don’t mix.