Mugabe new AU chairman

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has been elected by his fellow heads of State to replace Mauritania’s Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz as honorary chairperson of the African Union (AU) — a position which rotates among the continent’s five regions.

This comes after State media reports yesterday that Western governments had been campaigning hard to derail the Zanu PF leader’s ascendancy.

“By electing me to preside over this august body, with full knowledge of the onerous responsibility that lies ahead, I humbly accept your collective decision” Mugabe said after his inauguration at the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday.

Now officially Africa’s longest-serving leader, the nonagenarian is respected in many countries on the continent for his strong pan-African rhetoric and after he led Zimbabwe to independence from Britain in 1980.

However, Mugabe has come under increasing political pressure at home — both from within and outside his ruling party — and is subject to travel bans in the European Union and in the USA because of allegations of gross human rights violations against him and his administration.

The Zanu PF leader was given a rare invitation to an EU-Africa summit in Brussels last year, but boycotted it after his feisty wife, Grace, was refused a visa.

When he initially took power at independence, Mugabe was widely feted both at home and abroad, and was seen as promoting reconciliation.

But the much talked about human rights abuses and chaotic land reforms that forced out white commercial farmers from their farms from around 2000 onwards drew the ire of the West and lost him much political capital at home.

Since then, the Zanu PF has also increasingly been accused of vote-rigging as his Zanu PF party has clung on to power, with a group of stalwarts in his party now also taking him head-on.

Comments (12)

If his Pan Africanism is 'rhetoric' how then does he command respect, as you put it, from many African countries. Tell me.

Ndugu - 31 January 2015

Makorokoto Gushungo ,Mwari akutungamirirei!

felix - 31 January 2015

Hapana chinobuda apa.Ichangoita seZimbabwe wo kkk

Tahir Iqbal - 31 January 2015

This underpins the global view that Africa is indeed a basket case continent that is beyond reparation or any hope of gaining civilized moral principles. Why does the stupid WEST still aid and abet Africa's criminal despots?

Mashlonishwa Dlamini - 31 January 2015

Zvinobatsireyi kuti Mugabe a chairman we AU iye kewaarikubva kune nzara? Pane chakamboitwa ne AU chine musoro here? Chii?

Der - 31 January 2015

Mugabe never led zimbabwe to independence he accidentally won elections in 1980 . This staff repoter i think was still a zaegote in 1980 and has been told lies which he or she swallowed and now vomits them here . Be careful boy research before you lie .Mugabe was given power by whites bcoz of his policies which never talked about giving land to people . Next time pliz consult never lie in front of us that is uncalled for .

Diibulaanyika - 31 January 2015

djibulaanyika my bother its wrong to feed lies to the innocent souls.Zanu won the elections in 1980 and there is nothing like given power by whites

CARSON MACATE - 31 January 2015

@Carson Macate Lord Soames who was running this country that time clearly said before elections that it was not about election results but the right party will be made to rule .What does that mean to you >It means a puppet govt that was to secure the interests of whites was the only party that was acceptable to the man who was holding keys that time a white Soames .But bcoz you were a toddler or a lad or an egg waiting to fertilised that time you understood nothing worst still you were fed with poison at Gezi camps making you totally biased towards zanu no matter how evil they are .

Diibulaanyika - 1 February 2015

RGM says it is his business to ensure that decisions taken at the AU are implemented. He says his concern is uplifting the people and giving them something that will raise their standard of living. This is extremely hypocritical. He has destroyed his entire nation and his people's standard of living has plunged. Never, even in Smith's time have the peoples lived in such squalor and degradation. I am utterly disgusted.

TruthBTold - 1 February 2015

in smith's time we were not even allowed to walk the some of the streets of hre. taingo bvumidzwa kuna charter road basi basi. mukuru akoniwa that is no longer a secret any longer. however, that does not mean that we should wish for smith to back. lets think of ways that would carry us forward.

taurai - 1 February 2015

I remember very well Soames uttering those words ,..that it was not about election results but the right party will be made to rule' Mugabe never won elections, even after independence he has maintained his grip on power through intimidation and rigging. Personally i do not sympathise with the whites whose farms Mugabe repossed, their master Britain thought by giving Mugabe power their interests were going to be secure. They thought Nkomo was going to hand over Zimbabwe to the Russians who were backing him then. It;s unforturtunate that we all are suffering now and soon everyone including those who were once untouchable , the Mujurus, Mutasas eventually the Munangagwas, Jonos , Kasukuweres and finally Mugabe himself. Payback time is so near.

Referee - 2 February 2015

Get your fact right, Bob is not the longest serving African President. Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola has been in Office since 1979 and Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of E. Guinea has been in power since 1978. Bob rose to power in 1980.....the old git has overstayed his welcome but dont overplay it by lying to us just state facts as they are

Gaboon Viper - 2 February 2015

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