Mnangagwa explains why Mugabe did not attend Obama’s address to the AU


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President Robert Mugabe did not attend United States President Barack Obama’s address to the African Union on Tuesday because this was a meeting of the AU commission and not the assembly which Mugabe chairs and is attended by Heads of State.

The local media reported on Tuesday that Obama had snubbed Mugabe who is the current chairman of the AU and the Southern African Development Community.

Responding to a question from Harare Central Member of Parliament Murisi Zwizwai yesterday Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said leaders who attended the address went on their own volition.

“The truth of the matter is that President Obama wanted to meet a Commission led by (Nkosazana) Zuma and this was for the Commission only. We have some overzealous leaders who attend workshops or meetings where they are not supposed to attend which is supposed to be done by their ministers or officials, not them. Our President is an intelligent man and he knows what meetings to attend and what to miss out,” Mnangagwa said.

The United States maintains sanctions on Zimbabwe and Mugabe is barred from traveling to the United States except on United Nations business.

Obama did not invite Mugabe to last year’s US-African leaders’ summit which was attended by more than 40 African countries.

 

Q & A:

 

* MR. ZWIZWAI: I am directing my question to the Leader of the House who is also the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa. There seems to be some misunderstanding or apprehension regarding the meeting which was held by the African Union and this was attended by most Ministers and also Presidents of other countries. Unfortunately, our President who is the Chairman of the African Union (AU) was not present at that meeting. Why was he left out yet he is the head of the African Union?

* THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the hon. member, Hon. Zwizwai for asking such a question and I will explain so that everybody understands the difference between a summit and AU Commission.

These are two different organisations. When we have leaders of other countries who went to this Commission, they went on their own volition. The truth of the matter is that President Obama wanted to meet a Commission led by President Zuma and this was for the Commission only. We have some overzealous leaders who attend workshops or meetings where they are not supposed to attend which is supposed to be done by their Ministers or officials, not them. Our President is an intelligent man and he knows what meetings to attend and what to miss out.

(509 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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