Zimbabwe off AU agenda after Mugabe lobbies chairman

January 12, 2012 at 7:36 am Leave a comment

TAWANDA KAROMBO

HARARE — Zimbabwe will not be on the agenda at the next African Union
summit, it has emerged, after President Robert Mugabe held talks with AU
chairman and Equatorial Guinea President T eodoro Obiang Nguema in Harare
this week.

Mr Mugabe, who is under scrutiny from regional leaders for pushing for early
elections before electoral reforms are completed, is widely believed to have
lobbied Mr Nguema to remove Zimbabwe from the spotlight.

Equatorial Guinea’s leader has been in power as long as Mr Mugabe, and
during his over three-decade reign has shown little tolerance for political
opposition.

When asked if Zimbabwe would be on the agenda at the next AU meeting, Mr
Nguema replied: “The agenda for the AU summit has been set as per the
provisions of the AU Commission and it would focus on how African leaders
would strengthen co-operation between their countries.”

The AU Peace and Security Council met on Monday, ahead of an AU summit next
month.

The two leaders met for more than six hours on Monday. Official
communications show they sought to cement trade ties. Zimbabwe buys some of
its oil from Equatorial Guinea, which seeks investment in its manufacturing,
energy and construction sectors.

Officials privy to the details of the meeting said Mr Nguema would support
Mr Mugabe should African leaders confront him over electoral, media and
human rights reforms.

“The meeting was unannounced until very late and the fact that it was a
lengthy meeting … suggests that Mr Mugabe is looking for support,” said an
official source, who declined to be named.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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