Mugabe Threats To Quit EU Summit Over Grace Visa Denial
Due to the visa denial by the European Union barring first lady Grace Mugabe from traveling with her husband to the EU-Africa summit, protests and threats have been sounded by Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson and official assignees, Ambassador Joey Bimha and Foreign Affairs Portfolio Committee, Enock Porusingazi.
The upcoming EU-Africa summit is set to take place in Brussels, Belgium on the 2nd to the 3rd April.
Mugabe was invited despite him and his wife being on the EU’s restrictive measures that prohibit European travel. His wife was however refused a visa.
EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Ariccia, stated this week that the European bloc “invited those with a role to play at the meetings and the programmes of the meetings don’t have any role for spouses.”
But Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba blasted the EU position telling the state media that the stance was “strange”.
“It’s very strange that the EU has not extended an invitation to the First Lady. What God has put together the EU is trying to separate. Do they expect the President to respect the EU and disrespect his own marriage?” Charamba said.
He was followed by Ambassador Bimha who said it was President Mugabe’s prerogative to determine the composition of his delegation irrespective of the role the individuals would play at the summit.
The AU’s team was yesterday expected to meet their counterparts from Europe to discuss the way forward.
Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Portfolio Committee, Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge South), condemned the EU’s actions.
“The Committee on Foreign Affairs condemns in the strongest terms the inconsistencies on the part the EU and recommends to the executive that unless the First Lady is issued with a visa the meeting should be postponed or they should not be part of the summit.
“They should not dictate who should be in the President’s delegation. Zimbabwe is a sovereign country and has leadership which is internationally recognised including the First Lady so she has a right to accompany the President,” he said.