Legislators fume over Grace's visa snub

HARARE - Zanu PF MPs yesterday objected to the European Union (EU)’s decision to deny First Lady Grace Mugabe a visa to attend the EU – Africa summit in Belgium next week.

The legislators registered their protest during a hearing of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Enoch Porusingazi that was receiving oral evidence from Joey Bimha, permanent secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lawmakers asked Bimha to take up the matter with Sadc and other African leaders.

The EU-Africa summit is set for Belgium from April 2-3.

“This committee finds it very strange that our First Lady Grace Mugabe is being denied a visa to attend EU-Africa summit next week. We want to express our concern on that issue and we are in solidarity with her and can our government act on that matter?” Porusingazi said.

Bimha said his ministry had taken up the matter with the African Union (AU) and EU leaders.

“We know that there is a committee which is now handling the matter and has been dispatched to Belgium from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia,” Bimha said.

“The African leaders support President Mugabe, that he should be allowed to choose his own delegation for the summit, so we are going to wait to hear from them.

“We would want the summit to be postponed if we are being dictated to over who must attend or who must not.”

EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, has said only those with a role to play in the meetings had been invited.

“We have invited those with a role to play in the meetings and the programmes of the meetings do not have any role for spouses,” he said.

“Since she is under restrictive measures the host country (Belgium) has to seek a greenlight from the EU for her to attend. The EU has to reach a consensus but in this case that has not happened.”

But legislators said Mugabe had the right to pick his delegation to the summit. Earlier, African leaders had threatened to boycott the summit after the EU had  overlooked Mugabe in the invites.

“The issue was dealt with by African leaders at a summit in Ethiopia where it was agreed that every African leader should be allowed to attend the summit, and Mugabe was to be on the list,” Bimha said.

“We submitted our list of delegations with our names and passports to EU to have visas and they are now denying the First Lady her visa, which is wrong. We have decided to take up the matter further and we are now waiting for the outcome of the meeting in Brussels of our appeal.”

Bimha said EU had decided to invite Egypt which is facing sanctions from the AU, leaving out other countries such as

Sudan, Eritrea and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic which are recognised by the AU.

Comments (16)

shopping trip blocked. garai kumba mhai. concentrate on the new 800 hactors you grabbed last week in mazoe. leave european to europeans.

mafikizolo - 26 March 2014

Just reciprocate by denying EU member nations first ladies visas to come to Africa especially to Zimbabwe. What a disGrace. Eu is embarassed that Grace might show them how easy it is to start orphanages and dairy farms.

Mutero Karanda - 26 March 2014

Ko endai ku China...look East or kumukwasha kuDubai. Munochemerei kuenda musina kubvunza kuti " munotidako here?"

Grace Bev Gaba - 26 March 2014

If the first lady could inform us why she so desperately needs to travel to Europe and what benefits and opportunities she hopes will be gained by the country, just then maybe we could rally behind her as well. Are all the other leaders also taking their better halfs along?

Dr Know - 26 March 2014

These self satisfied cretins are pre-occupied with displaying outrage that Grace is denied a shopping trip to Belgium when the country is in dire straits. The EU made the position clearly...Grace has not been invited because all other "first spouses" have not been invited. In Bob needs a carer i'm sure Parirenyatwa can second a nurse to do the job.

Lt General - 26 March 2014

'Munotidako here?'

dodod - 26 March 2014

Ndege yo hainga rasike mu atlantic here veduwee. Grace has no business in Belgium at all. Mugabe is being petty and zimbabwe can boycott all it wants and no one will notice that mugabe is missing

mafriq - 26 March 2014

What can Mugabe really add to any 'Summit'. Does he want to pass on his secrets on how to bankrupt a country? Does he want to show them how to make a currency disappear? Does he want infect them with the his narrow-mindedness sickness? Does he want to boast about how many murders he committed? Does be want to tell the world how he caused millions of his Zimbabweans to flee their country? Or does he simply want to gorge himself on the delights of Belgium with his 'ho' in tow?

Madulla - 26 March 2014

Kutambisa mari yeZimbabwe isu tichitambura kuno kuMberengwa ngaagare kumba ko . Gushungo vakura havachangodi bonde pese pese ngaagare vanodzoka vachamboshandira nyika kuti tiwane mari

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 26 March 2014

Kunofa vanhu vane maturo, vasina basa vachisara. Ndizvo zvinoratidza kuti kwavasingatidako tinokuda. Machinda, kana ukasanzwika uchinamata vana Gushungo, basarinopera, saka regererai ma MP aya, vangazoendepi, havanakudzidza

top heavy - 26 March 2014

Robert Mugabe, could you for once in your life put the interests of Zimbabwe ahead of your personal and family interests. Need I remind you that this is a business trip and NOT a family outing. Why do you always have to embarrass the people of Zimbabwe ? by creating a scene where ever you go. Just shut up , and get on with the job of sorting out Zimbabwe's collapsed economy which you single handedly created.

ronaldos - 27 March 2014

Robert Mugabe, could you for once in your life put the interests of Zimbabwe ahead of your personal and family interests. Need I remind you that this is a business trip and NOT a family outing. Why do you always have to embarrass the people of Zimbabwe ? by creating a scene where ever you go. Just shut up , and get on with the job of sorting out Zimbabwe's collapsed economy which you single handedly created.

ronaldos - 27 March 2014

Imi mother vane dhiri nezvimwe zvirume saka panoda kutosefewa tosara tichosakura chidondova. planned Visa issue. mdhara usaende kana zvakona

Chidondova - 27 March 2014

gushungo family business is family business. makambozvinzwa kupi kuti amai vanoenda kubasa kwababa kunovabatsira basa ravo. grace sara kumba. ini handiende kujoni kunoshandamurume wangu ndotomira mira kuti ndoda kuendawo kubasa kwako sezvo ndiri mukadzi wako. iwe murume kana mukadzi wako arambidzwa iwe wotoramwa basa kkkkkwakest. ukarega basa zvinoratidza kuti wakadyiswa kkkk. zvaana porusingazi havatevedzwe bcoz chikoro hapana

svinurai - 27 March 2014

Haiwa, iye Mugabe wacho will be sleeping there half the time anyway...and he needs to sleep in a meeting with a wife as well at taxpayers' expense? Hakuna izvozvo! Kan usingadi kuenda rega Mugabe. we dont give a single hoot. You just want to go shopping. Ko kurima mafarm 15 amakaba?

Tongogara - 27 March 2014

HELLO??Is there anybody out there?5000 homeless people at Tokwe-Mukosi,Civil servants not being paid,companies crumbling ,corrupt incompetent legislators.........etc etc.

jams - 28 March 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.