PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is next week expected to turn his back on the worsening socio-economic and human rights crisis back home to attend the 36th Sadc Heads of States and Government Summit in Mbabane, Swaziland.
by VENERANDA LANGA
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba on Saturday confirmed that Mugabe will be at the summit running between August 30 and 31 under the theme Resource Mobilisation for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive Sadc Industrialisation for Prosperity.
“The President (Mugabe) has never missed any Sadc meeting and he will definitely attend the 36th Heads of State Summit,” Charamba said.
“Zimbabwe is a member of Sadc, and Sadc is our organisation as we have an important role to play.”
Mugabe last week cancelled his scheduled State visit to Ghana where he was to be awarded for being the longest-serving African leader amid reports he was angry that the hosts had also invited Morrocan King Mohammed V1.
But Ghana government has reportedly absolved itself of any blame over the cancellation of Mugabe’s visit to the country, noting it did not invite the 92-year-old leader.
According to 3News, Ghanaan President, John Mahama, who was expected to confer on Mugabe, the Millennium Lifetime Achievement award for his role in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle from British colonial rule, was going to be out of Accra.
“The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II who was to play a key role in the visit of President Mugabe was also said to be out of town,” the news website said.
Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu told Onua 95.1FM that Ghana had no hand in the invitation of Mugabe.
Meanwhile, Civic society groups that are already in Swaziland attending the 2016 Sadc People’s Summit ahead of the forthcoming Head of States meeting are pushing discussions on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe including police brutality on citizens expressing their rights to demonstrate, and issues of use of social media to push for social justice.