Mugabe cuts lone figure at summit

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will attend a cultural festival in India that has been snubbed by the host country’s president and several international leaders, including the Zanu PF leader’s African peers, NewsDay has learnt.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Old-frail-Mugabe-addressing-at-National-sports-stadium

Mugabe left Harare on Monday to attend the three-day World Culture Festival to be held in New Delhi starting on Friday.

Curiously, Zimbabwe’s Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage minister, Abednigo Ncube, was left out of Mugabe’s entourage, which included Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and several other top government officials.

Ncube confirmed yesterday that he was not part of the delegation to India.

“I am sorry I did not manage to go with the President,” he said.
Regis Chikowore, the principal director in the Information ministry, declined to comment over the issue.

“Get in touch with his (Mugabe’s) spokesperson (George Charamba). He is on roaming,” he said.
Charamba’s mobile phone was unreachable.

While some countries are represented by culture ministers and even legislators in the case of Japan and Germany, former presidents of Nigeria and Mozambique, Olusegun Obasanjo and Joachim Chissano, respectively, represent their countries.

Former French Premier Dominique de Villepin also makes up the list of former Heads of State in
attendance.

The presidents of Sri Lanka and Nepal are among the few serving Heads of State at the festival.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, who was supposed to host the event, has already said he will not attend this week’s festival, organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living, in protest over the organisers’ decision to have it in a protected flood plain, east of the capital.

“The President cannot attend the function due to unavoidable circumstances,” the Indian Business Standard quoted an official at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, India’s Presidential Palace, early yesterday. Mukherjee, according to the paper, had earlier agreed to attend the valedictory ceremony on Sunday.

A judgment is expected today in the case where an environmental lobby group, The National Green Tribunal, wants the function stopped, claiming “organisers will release ‘enzymes’ into 17 drains that flow into the Yamuna for cleaning the river”.

“This proposed activity would be in blatant violation of the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, since it is, basically, introducing foreign elements into the river, without any scientific study or information,” the petition said.

It said while thousands were expected to attend the event, “concerns have been raised by experts about the likely damage to the environment caused by holding it on the flood plains of the already polluted river in east Delhi”.

Academic and political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said Mugabe might not be to blame for the “botched-up job”.

“We need to find out who invited him in the first place. If it is the Indian government, then they are to blame for the botched-up job and not Mugabe,” he said.

Another analyst, Maxwell Saungweme, said the India episode typically shows “misplaced priorities by Mugabe”.

“Misplaced priorities, lack of touch with reality and an unquenchable affinity for foreign trips, yet the purses are empty and the economy is on its knees. Sadly, it is the millions of young and poor Zimbabweans who bear the brunt of this frivolous spending by an aged regime,” he said.

“This regime has no future and it’s taking the future of Zimbabwe with it. Other forward-looking governments such as the Indian one, invest for the future. They invest to attract tourism, but for ours, they are the tourists. Spending is all they know.”

Mugabe, according to local State media, will, after the festival, make follow-up meetings on the “mega deals” he signed with Indian business-people last year and later travel to Singapore for undisclosed business.

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28 Comments

  1. What if, what if the attendance of Mugabe of these numerous events are an opportunity for those who are siphoning power to do their wanting’s as he is away? Kind of odd to believe this man would attend such a low power event when there are more dire issues to address. Soon the games will come to an end.

  2. Bona Matibili Malawi

    He cant stay a day in Zim and is always looking fior opportunities to run a way from the problems HE created.

    1. Igudo rekupi iron ndaiti makudo anogara mugomo maini anotizwa nevarungu.kkkkkkkkkkkk

  3. kwaani ko…kuenda kunorapwa uku

  4. It’s obvious the trip is a cover up for Mugabe to sneak thru Singapore for medical attention

  5. He believes he is still the AU chairman kkkkkk

  6. On which side is Abdneco , Lacoste or G40? I smell a rat here.

  7. 15 billion is with Mugabe and it is the money he uses to make these senseless trips.Abedneco should have been allowed to attend.

  8. Biggie Chitoro

    i dont see the logic in arriving on a tuesday to attend a useless seminar that begins on Friday.

    1. It’s all about “eating” money, Cde Chitoro.

  9. Wezhira wezhara

    We know the real thief tiri kumusota muna 2018.

  10. Would there be such noise if Mugabe had attended this festival as a former president. I think not. The old man left it for too late. Sorry!!

  11. where is Prof Moyo to comment on this

  12. Mugabe was told to attend the “very important“ seminar by his (boss) mr wife

  13. Is this really how these people think lowly of us … Honestly, is this something a whole ‘president’ and a whole ‘foreign minister’ can attend? Honestly??

    Or is it about per diems????

  14. Eish. PLz Newday I know you have better pictures of His Excellency

    1. green masvingo

      this is the best picture since it shows realistic feature of a an old dictator by the name robert mugabe

  15. At sendai thats e appropriate pic of ths old dictactor.he must be ashemed of himself

  16. Sekuru Ndoronga

    Gone shopping again

  17. Zvichapera Chete

    Sendai

    unorwara chete!!! whats wrong with that picture? its not a cartoon!!

  18. Is that a sculpture of the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe?

  19. Anoveza munhu iyeye, ndiBenhura here?

  20. Mugabe is the former, current and future President of the country. so no one else can go…

  21. pakuriwa apa. hatichaziva zvekufambira shame!!

  22. Mugabe’s face is like that of a corpes. Walking evil spirit.

  23. Uyu Bona aapedyo kuzvara, Dr 2nd Amai hero basa rekuchinja muzukuru nasekuru vake ma pamper. Mati madii, handei tione!

  24. Cde Lucifer Mugabe

    What does that fool Mugabe care about culture and arts?..He is the NO 1 person against it…I have never heard of him attending any arts meeting in Zimbabwe, never even a traditional tour of the national gallery.Zimbabwe was cursed when the country was handed over from one oppressor (Smith) to a far worse one (Mugabe)….Hope may not be their in most of our lifetimes ,how sad…..

  25. Africa oh dear.we all scream and shout.when it comes to voting and standing up.I’m afraid we keep voting these dictators in.watch south africa.it’s on its way.slowly but very surely.

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