Did Mugabe’s complaints to African Union chair fall on deaf ears?


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Former President Robert Mugabe’s complaints to the African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat about how he is being ill-treated by the Emmerson Mnangagwa administration may have fallen on deaf ears, if indeed they are true.

A communique issued by the AU on 22 February, a day after Mugabe’s 94th birthday, says Faki actually “commended the Government and people of Zimbabwe on the peaceful transition that took place last November, as well as on the dignity and respect that the new administration has afforded former President Robert Mugabe”.

There have been reports that Mugabe bared his soul to the AU chair much to the amazement of Zimbabwean government officials that accompanied Faki to the residence of the former President.

The AU communique, however, did not mention any complaints from the former president.

Below is the full communique:

Communique on the visit of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Zimbabwe

Addis Ababa, 22 February 2018: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, undertook a visit to Harare, Zimbabwe, from 18 to 20 February 2018.  He was accompanied by the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Minata Cessouma Samate, and other senior officials of the Commission.  The visit provided an opportunity to express the support of the African Union to, and solidarity with, Zimbabwe at this key juncture of its history and in the run up to the forthcoming elections, as well as to exchange views with the Zimbabwean authorities on issues of mutual interest.

During the visit, the Chairperson of the Commission met with President Emmerson Mnangagwa; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Moyo; the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, Mike Bimha; and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi. The Chairperson paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Francis Mudenda, who was accompanied by Zimbabwean members of the Pan-African Parliament.  He also paid a courtesy call on former President Robert Mugabe.

In the course of his discussions with the Zimbabwean authorities, the Chairperson of the Commission commended the Government and people of Zimbabwe on the peaceful transition that took place last November, as well as on the dignity and respect that the new administration has afforded former President Robert Mugabe.  He expressed the African Union’s support for the ongoing efforts to revive the national economy and create a conducive business environment, deepen political reforms and organize free, fair and peaceful elections. He pledged the African Union Commission’s commitment, working with other stakeholders, most notably the Southern African Development Community, to provide support to the organization of successful polls, including through the deployment of observers.

Noting that close to two decades of sanctions have had serious adverse impact on Zimbabwean economy, the Chairperson assured his interlocutors of the African Union commitment to help mobilize support for the recovery efforts, including through renewed advocacy efforts for the early lifting of all sanctions imposed on the country.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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