African Union (AU) and SADC chairman also Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, is not among several African leaders who are meeting the visiting United States President, Barack Obama, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, told Zimbabwe’s NewsDay that the strongman, was unmoved by Obama’s visit to the AU headquarters, describing the event as just “a visit by any other visitor”.
“The chairman does not run the AU centre. Obama has come to Ethiopia for an official visit and to address the staff there. There are many dignitaries who come to the AU headquarters and you can imagine if all come wanting the President’s input,” Charamba is quoted as saying.
He adds: “It’s the Head of State of another country. If you are afraid of him, we are not because he is just a Head of State who visits Africa and the AU headquarters by virtue of his ancestry. Madam (Nkosazana) Dhlamini-Zuma (AU Commission chairperson) is big enough to receive him.”
Obama will today address the 54-member bloc at Nelson Mandela Hall in Addis Ababa on several issues affecting Africa.
Charamba says AU is not an organ run by Zimbabwe and “does not belong to Zimbabwe” hence Mugabe and other AU leaders would only receive the report of his visit in January at the AU summit.
“There will be a report on the summit in January where we will get a briefing on the visitor who is called Barack Obama ‘who we received and went back home happy’. . . He did not come to visit Mugabe. He went to Ethiopia and asked to visit the HQ. I did not see you writing that Mugabe snubs Obama when he went for the Ebola summit (in New York),” Charamba said.
Mugabe has not been on good terms with USA and the whole idea of West whom he regards as thieving imperialists.
It is believed the bad relations between Harare and Washington could have contributed to Mugabe’s absence at AU headquarters.