Mugabe off on 15th trip since January

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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday left for South Africa for an African Union (AU) summit where he is expected to pile pressure on the continental body to withdraw from the International Criminal Court.

by Everson Mushava

The meeting is also expected to tackle the issue of presidential term limits following the chaos that engulfed Burundi after the incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza insisted on running for a third term against the constitutionally mandated two terms.

Mugabe returned home on Thursday from Egypt where he witnessed the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area involving Africa’s three regional economic groupings — Sadc, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and East African Community.

The SA trip becomes his 15th since he returned home from a one-month vacation in the Far East in January.

Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mugabe, who is the both Sadc and AU chair, threatened in January this year to push for African ICC members to withdraw from the court at today’s summit.

But he is likely to face resistance from other Sadc countries such as Malawi and Botswana that have already indicated they will not support the pullout.

Zimbabwe is not a signatory to the Rome Statute which set up the ICC in 2002 as Mugabe’s government, fresh from the violent land invasions of 2000 and violent general elections of 2002, did not want to subject itself to external scrutiny in the face of serious human rights violations.

Mugabe is arguing that The Hague-based ICC has been set by the bullying West to victimise African leaders, since so far only Africans have been hauled before the ICC.

Also to top agenda would likely be African leaders’ attempts to change Constitutions to allow them to stand for third terms against their constitutional provisions.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Remember he is AU chair and SADC chair, he is supposed to go on these trips. I dont think this is a story

  2. If Africa pulls out of the ICC then we must form our own prosecuting body which tries African perpetrators of crimes against humanity etc. The mere shouting that ICC is not fair because it is biased against African leaders is not enough. Yes, it is biased, but what are doing as a continent to try those who infringe on human rights? The idea behind the ICC is noble but shouting to remove it does not help. We must fight to replace it with an African Court which is impartial. So pulling out is not a solution…a home grown court is the solution but surprisingly no one talks about it. Everyone conveniently keeps quiet about it and says lets pull out. Who is fooling who?

  3. Its a story becoz Mugabe is abdicating national responsiblity & attending useless foreign engagements that simply dont help Zimbas in any way. People are suffering at home & this is no time for seeking useless international admiration for past glory

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