Mugabe under fire over summit boycott

2014-03-31 10:11
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. (File, AFP)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly come under fire from opposition parties following reports that the veteran leader will boycott an EU-Africa summit in Brussels because his wife Grace was denied a visa to enter Europe.

According to The Telegraph, Mugabe has ordered the entire delegation from his country to stay at home and not attend the two-day meeting scheduled to kick off on Wednesday.

A report by News Day said opposition parties and civic society groups had reacted angrily to Mugabe's decision saying "it was wrong for Mugabe to deny the country representation at the summit over personal issues".

The telegraph quoted a Harare businessman as saying that Mugabe's boycott was not in the interests of the country’s fragile economy.

He said it was "madness" for the government to boycott, adding that the since the country’s relations with the EU were improving, the summit could have "brought some EU funds into the economy".

The summit will bring together representatives of 90 nations from both continents, including 65 heads of state and government.

Restrictive measures

EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell'Ariccia last week maintained that only those with a role to play in meetings at the summit had been invited.

Dell'Ariccia said the programmes of the forthcoming summit did not have any role for spouses.

Dell'Ariccia said since Mugabe's wife was under restrictive measures, the host country (Belgium) had to seek a green light for her to attend.

Mugabe and his wife are under an EU travel ban imposed in 2002, after a government crackdown on the opposition and the eviction of white farmers from agricultural land.

The EU had waived the visa ban on Mugabe, who is the vice-chairperson of the AU, saying it was not bound by the ban when hosting large international conferences.

The summit has been described as "the highest level of political dialogue between the two continents".
Read more on:    au  |  eu  |  eu-au summit  |  grace mugabe  |  robert mugabe  |  aldo dell'ariccia  |  belgium  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.