Zim critics upset over 'Nobel prize' given to Mugabe

Harare - Zimbabwean government critics on Thursday slammed a decision to award the Chinese equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize to the country's controversial leader of 35 years, Robert Mugabe.

The decision is "an attack on the people of Zimbabwe," said Luke Tamborinyoka, spokesperson for the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The Confucius Peace Prize was established in 2010 in response to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo winning the Nobel Peace Prize the same year.

Serious organisation

Mugabe was chosen for having "worked hard to bring political and economic order into the country and to improve the welfare" of Zimbabweans, the prize committee said.

Tamborinyoka said the award was "an attack on the people of Zimbabwe who bore the brunt of state-sponsored violence" when hundreds of opposition supporters were allegedly attacked to ensure Mugabe's victory in the 2008 elections.

Kumbirai Mafunda from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said it was "perplexing that any serious organisation would consider President Mugabe for any honour."

Several human rights or pro-democracy activists have disappeared in Zimbabwe recently, Mafunda pointed out.

Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba declined to comment on the award, saying he was still to be briefed on it.

Expulsion of white farmers

It was not known if Mugabe, whose health is said to be failing, will travel to China to collect about $79 000 in prize money.

Zimbabwe developed strong relations with China after its ties with the West chilled over the expulsion of white farmers - sometimes violently - and human rights abuses more than a decade ago.

Mugabe's critics accuse him of trying to gag the opposition and of wrecking the country's economy.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
34% - 937 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
66% - 1800 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.59
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.89
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.38
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.90
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.0%
Gold
1,791.82
0.0%
Silver
22.47
0.0%
Palladium
2,379.00
0.0%
Platinum
1,016.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
90.03
+0.8%
Top 40
67,021
-0.1%
All Share
73,455
-0.1%
Resource 10
74,081
-1.4%
Industrial 25
90,993
+0.6%
Financial 15
15,218
+1.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE