Zimbabwe

Mugabe 'not given chance to speak in Mexico'

2017-05-26 12:31
Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

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Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, reportedly left Cancún, Mexico on Thursday "in a huff" after he was not given a "speaking slot" at the ongoing United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

According to a source quoted by New Zimbabwe, the nonagenarian left Mexico on Thursday "not too pleased" after he was denied a chance to speak at the conference.

"We hear he has left Mexico in a huff. Apparently he was not given a speaking slot and he is not overly amused," New Zimbabwe quoted a well-placed source as saying.

Mugabe, 93, left Harare for Mexico last Friday, less than a week after he returned from a trip to see his doctors in Singapore.

The state-owned media, which is resolutely pro-Mugabe, tried to put a positive gloss on the story, saying the Zimbabwe president was attending this summit "on the back of launching successful implementation of the Specialised Maize Production and Import Substitution Programme or Command Agriculture".

The conference which started on Wednesday, May 24 was set to end on Friday.

Mugabe's critics 

Mugabe was accompanied by three of his minister – Saviour Kasukuwere of local government, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi of foreign affairs and environment minister Oppah Muchinguri.

Mugabe was one of the few heads of state and government attending the conference. Other countries sent their ambassadors and ministers, instead, the report said.

Mugabe's critics were scathing of this trip as they asked why the president was always out of the country when national issues required a hands-on leader.

They maintained that his "globetrotting" was wasteful for a government that was "effectively broke and struggling to pay its workers".

His trip to Mexico came just a few days after a video of him struggling to climb a small staircase went viral on social media.

The video showed the veteran leader climbing the staircase while balancing on the railings with both hands.  

A Zimbabwe Independent report said that the video had generated "more debate" on his health and old age.

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