Mugabe free to attend summit — EU envoy

THE European Union (EU) has cleared Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to attend the meeting of African Union and EU leaders, but says the decision does not alter the fact that he is on targeted sanctions, together with some of his Zanu PF cronies.

Herbert Moyo

The two-day AU-EU Summit is scheduled for Brussels in Belgium on April 2-3 and will explore ways of “strengthening political partnership and enhanced co-operation at all levels”.

On Sunday, the public media quoted Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi saying the EU did not invite Mugabe to the summit, “ostensibly as an expression of its long-standing impasse with the country (Zimbabwe)”.

“(It is) absolute madness for the bloc to exclude the President, especially after his election as AU First Deputy Chairperson,” Mumbengegwi said.

“That is the decision that was taken at the AU that all heads of state must be invited without exception if the summit is going to take place. And so, faced with this situation, I do not think the EU has any option. One never ceases to marvel why the EU always wants to come up with self-imposed humiliation.”

However, EU ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia told the Zimbabwe Independent Mugabe had in fact been invited along with other African leaders.
Explaining the EU decision to allow Mugabe to attend, Dell’Ariccia said international laws make exceptions for leaders who are on what it calls targeted measures to attend summits and other international fora and as such there was no contradiction with the invitation to Mugabe to attend.

“President Mugabe is invited to the summit and I hope he will attend along with all the other leaders that have been invited,” Dell’Ariccia said.

“There are international laws that have to be respected and these make exceptions for heads of state that are on targeted measures to be allowed to attend summits and other functions as a result. A good example is the Vatican’s agreement with the Italian government that allows leaders to attend functions.”

Dell’Ariccia said Mugabe’s attendance did not in any way signal a softening of the EU position on targeted measures imposed on Zimbabwe, nor did it suggest the measures have been ineffective.

He said consultations about the measures were still going on and a decision will only be taken at an EU meeting in Brussels on February 20. Mugabe was last week appointed deputy chair of the AU and holds a similar position in Sadc.

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11 Responses to Mugabe free to attend summit — EU envoy

  1. Mudhara Pfende February 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I really do not see the point of his attendance other than spouting the usual nonsense that the works has grown accustomed to from him. He has nothing constructive to add to the summit and none of the EU govts will/are interested in engaging with him. Like Bona’s pad – no pun intended, honestly – it is just another waste and abuse of meagre forex resources in an impoverished country.

    • jackie February 8, 2014 at 12:32 am #

      TO MUDHARE PEFNDE:

      Don’t you mean your mother’s pad…and your daughter’s pad?

  2. Goreraza February 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    He will just be sleeping there half the time, anyways!

  3. lovemore February 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    What will Zimbababwe gain after the visit? No trade will be opened. Egos in a clash. Nyika kuendeswa kumawere ne nyaya ye ma Egos iwawa.

  4. Jabu February 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    He is as useless as a tissue paper after all so the point of him going there I don’t see. Mugabe is just a useless person and what change he is going to make from his attendance. Only that African leaders are afraid of him which is why he forced them to vote for him to be first vice chairman; its not out of respect but its out of fear.

    • nomars February 9, 2014 at 9:21 am #

      Kana tissue riri useless tsvangura hako nemawoko shamwari. Belgium more than needs Mugabe if it wanrts tos continue as th diamond hub, though i agree that th rest of Europe may not find any business with him but remember the AU is redefining resource ownership and exploitation, one mind thats key in the engagement isBOB

  5. TENDAYI February 8, 2014 at 1:26 am #

    There is no contradiction to inviting him to come to the EU because he is on the sanction list prohibiting travel to the EU, and Zimbabwe has agreed to give a cut of the diamond loot to Belgium. So where is the contradiction?

  6. Chen Chikezha February 8, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    Zvakaoma vedu wee isu tichifa nezhara vamwe vachichemera kupaza the little we have going places they are not wanted.

  7. hiddon February 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Mugabe is the greatest African leader has ever had. Those in south africa will be crying soon. The British system encourages people to wear ties, write cvs and look for jobs. Very soon Zimbabwe will have blacks that are masters of their own destiny. If it was not for mugabe where would be as a country. The day will come when Zimbabwe will be the again. Seriously do you want Morgan to be president. He is confused politically and sexually.

  8. ngqwa February 10, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    siyur mkhumbula u Smith sure uyangaphi esiyalala nje uyabe ehoqa

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