Zimbabwe

Mugabe 'deserved' Chinese peace prize

2015-10-25 14:05
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Harare - President Robert Mugabe deserved to win China's equivalent of the Nobel Prize this year however scornful Zimbabwe's opposition is of it, ruling party apologists and state media said on Sunday.

Zanu-PF MP Psychology Maziwisa told the state broadcasting corporation that Mugabe's winning the Confucius Peace Prize was "a milestone for the whole nation".

"We feel it was long overdue as he has exhibited that he deserves it over the past 35 years," Maziwisa said.

Sunday Mail columnist Vukani Madoda criticised the "revolting opposition conspiracy to scorn good achievements that can never be hidden".

The opposition and Western critics have questioned the awarding of the prize to Mugabe, pointing to his clampdown on dissidents in Matabeleland in the 1980s and on members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) between 2000 and 2008.

'Little institution'

Around 200 people, most of them opposition supporters, were killed when Mugabe lost the first round of presidential elections in March 2008.

"Not one gun has been fired, not one bullet has been shot, not a single grenade has exploded since President Mugabe was sworn in as Executive President and that is why the Chinese awarded him the Confucius Peace Prize," Madoda wrote.

Mugabe became executive president in 1988. He had been prime minister since 1980.

The comments were in contrast to a column written in Saturday's Herald newspaper by Nathaniel Manheru, believed to be a pseudonym for Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba.

Manheru called the committee that awarded the prize "some little institution" and said "not even [Mugabe's] system takes note of the so-called award".

News of the prize surfaced this week, even though it was awarded last month. Mugabe, 91, did not go to pick it up because he was at the UN.

The prize was established in 2010 after a Chinese dissident writer was awarded the original Nobel Peace Prize.

Read more on:    un  |  robert mugabe  |  george charamba  |  china  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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