HomeNewsDiplomats walk out on Mugabe at Heroes’ Acre

Diplomats walk out on Mugabe at Heroes’ Acre


President Robert Mugabe yesterday incensed Western diplomats when he used the occasion of the burial of his sister Sabina at the Heroes’ Acre to tell them to go to hell.
Angry diplomats stormed out of the national shrine in protest.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai stayed away from the funeral, choosing to address a rally in Bulawayo. The only senior MDC-T officials at the funeral were Finance minister Tendai Biti, Health minister Henry Madzorera and co-Home Affairs minister Theresa Makone.
In an emotional and angry address touching on a familiar subject in his keynote speech Mugabe, having entertained the crowd with light-hearted talk about the life of Sabina and the Mugabes, changed tone and launched a tirade against the West.
“They cannot be good to us today, when they were not good to us yesterday. They detained us, jailed us, shot at us, bombed us and slaughtered us in our hundreds,” he said. “We bore the brunt of their cruelties and shall never forget.”
Mugabe said a “European-American clique” imposed sanctions for their own reasons.
“Europe and America want to keep these odious sanctions. They are now saying Mugabe must go first, and they choose someone to lead the country,” he said.
Mugabe said the inclusive team sent to Europe to seek the removal of sanctions had come back empty-handed.
Sabina was among those barred from Western countries. Western governments argue Mugabe has not done enough to honour the power-sharing agreement to restore law and order and bring about sweeping democratic reforms.
“We sent an inclusive delegation to the European Union to seek for the removal of sanctions. The delegation came back empty-handed.
They want to keep those odious sanctions, not for our benefit, but for their strategic interests here.”
“They think they can dictate the pace, remove so and so, Mugabe first… To hell with them, to hell, hell, hell with them,” Mugabe chided what he called the European-American clique.
This did not go down well with the four western diplomats present; US ambassador Charles Ray, German ambassador Albrecht Conze and the Greek and EU charge d’affaires Stephanos Ioannides and Barbara Plinkert respectively. Last night one of the diplomats confirmed the walkout saying they were baffled by Mugabe’s attack.
“The president told us to go to hell, we tried to find our way there but couldn’t. We waited for him to finish his speech and we left,” said the diplomat.
“This was a Christian funeral and those of us who came to pay our last respects were told to go to hell. I found this theological contradiction baffling,” he said.
During the burial proceedings, Mugabe’s other sister Bridgette collapsed and was rushed to hospital after she had received first aid from former Health deputy minister Edwin Muguti.
She was accompanied to hospital by local businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, who is a relative.
Chiyangwa fought hard to calm her down after she had regained consciousness as she spoke on top of her voice trying to wrestle free from the medical team.
Family representative Leo Mugabe who is also the son of the late Sabina Mugabe chronicled the life of his mother and said he was influenced into politics by her and not by his uncle as is the popular thought expressed in the media.
“We’re not influenced by sekuru (Uncle) into politics as you write in your papers. Amai influenced us well,” he said.
He said 2005 was the highlight of the family’s political career as his brother Patrick, Sabina and himself were MPs.
“In 2005, for mum it was automatic but we (Patrick and him) had to fight,” he said.

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