Mugabe delegation denied UN visas

2011-10-26 11:13

Harare - President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has been forced to cancel a trip to Geneva for a United Nations meeting this week after his wife and some of his aides were denied visas, state media said on Wednesday.

Western countries, including the United States and the European Union, imposed travel and financial sanctions on Mugabe and senior officials from his Zanu-PF party almost a decade ago over charges of rights abuses and vote rigging.

But the sanctions, which Mugabe argues are punishment for his seizures and redistribution of white-owned commercial farms to landless blacks, have traditionally not been applied for meetings organised by the United Nations.

On Wednesday, the official Herald newspaper said Mugabe had scrapped a trip to Switzerland for a summit of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) after his wife Grace, Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, chief spokesperson George Charamba and three other senior officials were refused travel permits.

The Zimbabwe government has lodged a protest with both the Swiss government and the United Nations, and the Herald quoted a foreign affairs official as saying:

"We noted that this was a highly regrettable decision which was a clear violation of the United Nations headquarters host agreement and Zimbabwe's sovereign right to determine the composition of its delegation."

Mugabe's spokespersons were not immediately available for comment.

The Swiss embassy in Harare confirmed some visa applications were turned down but declined to comment on charges that Switzerland had joined the EU's position against Zanu-PF although it is not a member of the EU.

Changing times

State media quoted Charamba as saying Zimbabwe had noted the Swiss position as a sign of changing times, and, without giving any details, promised an appropriate diplomatic response.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF has in the past threatened to target for seizure foreign-owned firms from countries supporting sanctions against Zimbabwe, and is now seeking to force mining firms to transfer majority shareholding to local blacks.

Early this year, Zanu-PF launched an anti-sanctions campaign, collecting signatures countrywide, and officials say it will soon approach international courts to challenge the legality of the current sanctions.

Mugabe, who was forced into a power-sharing government with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, says sanctions against his party are illegal, not targeted as argued by Western powers.

The 87-year-old leader says the sanctions have hit state-owned companies and Zimbabwe's ability to borrow money abroad.

Critics say Zimbabwe's economic recovery from a decade-long crisis caused largely by Zanu-PF policies will be slow and hard for as long as Mugabe pursues his controversial black empowerment programmes.

  • Harold - 2011-10-26 11:25

    And so the noose tightens. Hopefully another tyrant will soon bite the dust.

      Michael - 2011-10-26 12:09

      Disgraceful way to treat a democratically elected head of state!

      Harold - 2011-10-26 12:17

      @ Michael I hope that comment was tongue in cheek because there is nothing democratic about Mugabe's current position. Don't you remember the farce of the last elections which he lost but refused to leave. A power sharing govt had to be established in an attempt to prevent further torture and bloodshed. Democratically elected leader my pale pink ass.

      Ann - 2011-10-26 12:54

      Hear, hear Harold! From your lips to Gods' ears

      Joanita - 2011-10-26 14:56

      michael is seriously some kind of special! elected head of state? HE REFUSED TO VACATE HIS POST! elected mah ass

      sean.redmond3 - 2011-10-26 15:42

      Is Michael a Troll?????

  • Joseph - 2011-10-26 11:28

    now his comrade GADDAFI is toppled & slained,then he suppose to step down with peace other wise he will be forced to do so

  • claire.ranwell - 2011-10-26 11:28

    hilarious :)

  • Bryan - 2011-10-26 11:37

    Mad Bob.., you will soon be pushing up daisies..!!

  • Iwan - 2011-10-26 11:39


  • Hermann - 2011-10-26 11:40

    Good for the Swiss. It is time the UN as a circumvention vehicle now be ruled out.

  • Ralph - 2011-10-26 11:42

    It is about time someone wound in this arrogant monster. The only successful thing he has done is to destroy the bread basket of Africa.

  • jan.roodt1 - 2011-10-26 11:43

    Mr President got his visa, just wifie and some of his aides did not get theirs. Maybee they were afraid wifie was going to attach another journalist?

  • Spartan - 2011-10-26 11:52

    As they say in Afrikaans "Lekker"

  • Hennie - 2011-10-26 11:54


  • J.D. - 2011-10-26 11:58

    What good contributions can Bad Bobgabe make at any meeting, nobody want to listen to the man. Good on the Swiss to cancel his wife's spending trip while people die of hunger.

  • Wim - 2011-10-26 12:05

    Switzerland's entrance criteria is bound by a common visa criteria (Shengen) to most EU countries. Switzerland's borders to these countries are open, and this means that the Swiss are bound to apply these criteria. It does not mean that they've suddenly decided that morality should get preference over neutrality. This article should have mentioned that, as this is highly relevant.

  • Rob - 2011-10-26 12:05

    "We noted that this was a highly regrettable decision which was a clear violation of the United Nations headquarters host agreement and Zimbabwe's sovereign right to determine the composition of its delegation." - Sounds similar to what Zimbabwean's were saying after their so called "free and fair" elections

  • murrayboyce - 2011-10-26 12:06

    ".... Zimbabwe's ability to borrow money abroad." who abroad? the Imperialist West?? (the ones he hates!!) laughable..

  • Alan - 2011-10-26 12:10

    Good to see somebody taking a stand against this dictator. I hope showerhead is taking note.

  • Steven Preston - 2011-10-26 12:14


  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2011-10-26 12:17

    Now YOU know YOU (Mugabe & ZanuPF) are SCUM OF THE EARTH, Mugabe hurry up and die already please, you oxygen thief!

  • Ben - 2011-10-26 12:17

    Ja nee. Hou die rubbish uit

  • George - 2011-10-26 12:17

    at last - they should ban the old murderer and his thugs from entering any part of Eorope and the United States forever. In any event, what would his contribution be - "how to destroy a Nation in one easy step"

  • Gerald - 2011-10-26 12:18

    Could not have happened to a nicer "person" Why did he cancel his trip. afraid to go alone, brave only when surrounded by lots of bodyguards.

  • Garth - 2011-10-26 12:19

    `Critics say Zimbabwe's economic recovery from a decade-long crisis ... will be slow and hard for as long as Mugabe pursues his controversial black empowerment programmes.' These critics are obviously not from the anc, are they now? Must be the evil west criticising another legitimate black leader, hero and icon. Hang on! Legitimate-Mugabe: oxymoron. Hero-Mugabe: oxymoron. Icon-Mugabe: bullsheeit!

  • Bill - 2011-10-26 12:21

    Well he told the British and the Americans he does not need them and that they are capitalistic pigs, So they don't need him and do not want him there as well...tough cheese fool..!

  • brian.bakkes - 2011-10-26 12:23

    why should the EU allow a theif into their countries? have you ever tried to get a visa with a criminal record? Mugabe, rot in the chaos you have created...

  • Nosiphom - 2011-10-26 12:28


  • Burtfred - 2011-10-26 12:48

    Now if we could only get Singapore to deny him a visa - it would drive his shopaholic wife nuts.

  • Paas - 2011-10-26 12:52

    One less motorcade for Geneva, I'm sure the Swiss are relieved.

  • Jimmy - 2011-10-26 13:11

    This savage should be in jail not roaming around amongst civilised humans. He has gutted a great country, and murdered thousands and cuased millions of people to flee the country.

  • Ambi - 2011-10-26 13:26

    High five to this!! Spot on Jethson! They don't deserve anything from the west

  • braamc - 2011-10-26 14:07

    Ha ha ha ha. They have nothing to do there, get on with the cancer and other related illness so long.

  • Walter - 2011-10-26 14:38

    @kevin.snake: Congratulations to the Swiss government for finally taking a stand against that looney person from 'up north'. What could he contribute personally to a conference on 'International Telecommuncations' anyway? Topics include THE PATHWAY TO A CONNECTED WORLD or THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET, yip, it would undoubtedly have been yet another shopping trip for Grace... I would have thought she would enjoy shopping in Asia better than in Geneva?

  • Musa - 2011-10-26 15:13

    Joanita:What is your point exactly? I am a proudly South African, an African. I did not come from Europe as part of colonisation. Got that settler?

      jan.roodt1 - 2011-10-26 15:32

      @Musa - Nope - you were part of the group from up north who took the land from the Koi.

      Cheryl - 2011-10-26 15:57

      @ Musa...No disrespect but when u colonised southern africa in your imperialist wars from the North when your ancestors left west africa and destroyed everythng in their paths...what did u bring to southern africa other than war? did you bring the automobile, or the aeroplane, electricity , the radio, the television, the bicycle, modern medicine, the toilet, the train, the knife and fork, the wheel or even toilet paper? What gave you right to colonise the land of the KhoiSAN? What did you bring them other than herpes, AIDS and slavery? I think you should thank the Europeans for bringing you what they have...

      Brett - 2011-10-26 16:25

      Musa, I am white but I was born in South Africa as were my parents, Do you think I am a settler?

      reg.nagel - 2012-09-07 13:15

      musa..your from far!!! far north SETTLER????????

  • gbestenbier1 - 2011-10-26 15:45

    Mugabe, just disappear ! Harare is without Water, and the pipes are rotten. Your people need you to stay at home, and have this fixed.Stop bothering the foreign white people.

  • Adam - 2011-10-26 16:49 least the Swiss have balls and can make up their minds whether to issue a visa or not !! LOL

  • ktheron2 - 2011-10-26 16:58

    Good. The old lunatic should not be allowed to roam around anywhere on this planet. He should be blasted off into deep space on a one-way trip....except any intelligent life that happens to come across his path will form a very ugly and distorted picture of mankind.

  • Russell - 2011-10-26 17:05

    The thing is that when they land there, they should all be arrested, that should have been done a long time ago...what a great opportunity to do so, besides that they should freeze his swiss bank accounts whilst they arrest him......what is the delays here..........??

  • Cheryl - 2011-10-26 17:07

    send the whole mugabe family to robben island....i would pay good money to go see him

  • George - 2011-10-26 17:34

    Mr.Bob.....suits you right...and your farkin cronies.............where are the Zim merecenarys......TAKE HIM DOWN.....long over due...

  • Barry - 2011-10-26 21:05

    Dear Bob, Seems there is no shopping holiday in Switzerland for you this time. Perhaps have chat to Morgan and see if you can work things out together there. If you can then maybe things will be different. Do the right thing Bless you. Barry

  • John - 2011-10-26 21:17

    Viva South Africa Viva Zimbabwe Out with Zuma Out with Mugabe!

  • Eddie - 2011-10-27 06:00

    So old bob missed out on another sponsored holiday with the family. Shame!

  • ryan.msora - 2011-11-14 07:37

    Mugabe is a ruthless man, I do not know why SADC does not tell him out right to get out of politics. He has single handidly brought Zimbabwe into poverty.With all the diamonds we have in the country, there is now even more corruption within the high ranking officials. They have stolen enough. There needs to be some justice. Addie

  • bmaestro - 2012-09-07 13:01


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