Mugabe’s boycott of EU/AU summit ‘insignificant’

Festus Mogae_Elliot Pheve

MDC-T chief representative to the EU, Elliot Pfebve (left) with former Botswana President Festus Mogae (right) at the EU/AU business forum event in Brussels.

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
2 April 2014

Delegates to the EU/AU summit that kicked off in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday have described President Robert Mugabe’s boycott of the event as ‘insignificant’ as most African leaders apparently ignored his call to snub the gathering.

Mugabe refused to travel to Brussels for the summit, in an apparent protest against the refusal by the EU to allow his wife Grace to accompany him. The EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, last week said the bloc had not given a visa to Grace because there was no program for wives of presidents and there was no need for her to attend.

Only South African President Jacob Zuma appeared to go along with Mugabe in boycotting the summit, but his government was quick to point out that he wasn’t attending because of ‘other commitments.’

Elliot Pfebve, the newly appointed MDC-T chief representative to the EU, said most delegates thought Mugabe’s decision to boycott was based on ‘emotion and concerns for his family rather than what is best for Zimbabwe.’

Pfebve, who was in Brussels attending a two day EU/AU business forum at the beginning of this week, said that Zimbabwe could have benefitted substantially, due to the presence of high level investors.

The business forum was attended by leading business personalities across the globe, diplomats, chief executives of multi-nationals, former Presidents of various countries in Africa as well as current leaders on the continent.

‘President John Mahama of Ghana gave a presentation on the need for investors to visit Accra. He took questions from investors on some concerns they raised and in the end, Ghana signed deals worth billons of dollars.

‘Since Zimbabwe is struggling to attract foreign investors, this was an opportunity for Mugabe to meet would be investors and discuss ways of trying to co-exist in the harsh economic environment in the country,’ Pfebve said.

The MDC-T representative to the EU said there was a suggestion by other delegates that Mugabe’s non-appearance will damage his reputation as the first deputy chair of the African Union.

‘He tried to influence other African leaders not to attend the summit, which he failed, and people were asking why they would want to boycott when the event was supposed to benefit the continent.

Pfebve said that Africa has over a billion people and why would Mugabe try to hold the whole continent to ransom, just because his wife didn’t get a visa.

The senior MDC-T official added: “That is abuse of power. Mugabe is not President and husband to Grace Mugabe but President and leader of all Zimbabweans. ‘

The summit brings together 28 European countries and 54 African Union members, minus Zimbabwe and others who are being represented at ministerial level.

22 Responsesto “Mugabe’s boycott of EU/AU summit ‘insignificant’”

  1. Larry King says:

    Mugabe is not serious about the welfare of Zimbabwe all he wanted was to take his circus to Brussels and make a fool of himself. What was he going to contribute to this summit, basically nothing of value, he had already prejudged that he was going to use the occasion to play his usual dirty game of black white politics.When he insisted he wanted his spouse to accompany him not for serious business but for a shopping spree his plans backfired. The man had just thrown more than $6 million down the drain for his lavish birthday bash and on his daughter’s western styled wedding. All paid for by the poor of our beloved Zimbabwe. Yet 13 million of us find it almost impossible to even have a cup of tea for breakfast. Such are our African “leaders” despotic and cruel to the marrow.

    • Cash talk says:


    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      I have told you before that the European Union is broke. It is sustaining its expenditure by borrowing from other countries and can not be of any assistance to Zimbabwe at present. Let us talk when we do a bit of research. These guys praise in Europe have absolutely nothing to be of much help to Zimbabwe. It was merely a talk shop geared at winning back the African continent whose economies are now skewed in favour of China and the Far East. It is now too little too late for the African continent to change course. The European Union is fcked big time, mate. The African continent is not looking back but to engage with business partners who treat them on equal terms. That is the gist of the story mate.

      • Larry King says:

        You keep telling me ” I told you so…” and it all turns out to be rubbish talk. You make the most stupid comments which has not a shred of truth or supported by facts. Whatever you say is calculated to deceive Zimbabweans which you are mistaken, they know better than you. The Europeans are broke, really by your standards? or that of Zimbabwe. What a load of baloney. You like to shoot from your hip because you are too scared to accept truth, that Mugabe and Zanu PF have destroyed Zimbabwe in 33 short years.

        What more research do you need to do when its already clear, which even a blind man can sense that the comparison between Europeans standard of living to those of Africans is wide, really wide. Africa is extremely poor despite the fact that it has minerals in abundance. What use is this wealth to the people when the continent has a bunch of corrupt autocrats like Mugabe who surrounded by a small clique of blacks exploit the country’s wealth to fatten their pockets. There is no middle class left in Zimbabwe. We have an extreme dichotomy of the very rich on the top made up of a few black elitists and at the very bottom millions of Zimbabweans who own literally nothing. And you seem okay with this. Are you not foolish and selfish?

        Asian economies have grown but they have a lot of poor who have yet to come out of their poverty. But at least they have made a good start. Zimbabwe had a good start in 1980 given to Mugabe on a plate by the white man whom you have a fat lot to say about. Mugabe and your Zanu PF never looked in any direction which could have ensured a continuation of whatever good the whites left behind. All they did was to enrich themselves and allowed the country to bleed to death . You ought to concern yourself with our people instead of being envious of the East or critical of Europe. Mugabe has fcked Zimbabwe bad to the extent we have nothing decent left. We cannot even feed our nation, nor can we even talk of good health, education and properly run social services. In fact everything is in a mess, you name it and its on the endless list of Zanu PF fck ups.

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          Everyone is envious of the Chinese and the Far East. In the United Kingdom, a huge property grab by Chinese investors have taken the country by storm. Chinese investors are pricing UK homebuyers out the market. They are buying properties in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham among other cities I will not mention. To make matters worse, UK developers are selling direct to buyers in China at inflated prices, cutting out domestic purchasers altogether. That is how vicious the Chinese are in the global scene. You can not fail to envy, admire and wish they do the same in your country, mate.

  2. super mondo says:


    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      What invest ve when the entire Western Europe is in crippling debt. You obviously have no idea that most of the countries in the region are borrowing from Chine with the United States being the biggest beneficiary of Chinese humanitarian aid. Quite frankly, countries do not borrow funds to then invest the borrowed funds in other countries but to consider their own people first. Consequently, Mugabe did not lose a thing for not attending this talk shop summit which for all intents and pioses was geared towards persuading the African continent to consider Europe as the destination of their natural resources and not China and the Far East. Well, for the European Union, we say it is too little to late for the African continent to look back. China and Russia will play a major economic role on the African continent, in particular Zimbabwe. That is for sure and we make no apology to anyone about our principled stand.
      Zimbabwe was represented by the MDC-T chief representative to the European Union. Let us see what this guy brings to Zimbabwe other than the cheap talk we have heard from you fcking Rhodies.

      • super mondo says:

        you fart when you speak.

      • Larry King says:

        China is prepared to lend the USA which is a very low risk borrower. If you think Zimbabwe has a better credit rating why does China shun Zimbabwe. You know the answer. Stop pretending that Africa is on top of the world especially our Zimbabwe which is at the very bottom of the poorest nations globally. You can wait for the return of Prophet Jesus for China or Russia to come to Zimbabwe’s rescue but long before that they will keep far away from rogue regimes like ours.

        • ELIAS says:



      • Sipho says:

        Unbelievable brainwash. Europe may not hold as much economic wealth as they used to but without European investors the rest of the world wont touch Zimbabwe. If Zimbabwe relies on China they will be in a much worse situation in the long term, the Chinese are pouring in cash for bankrupt African governments but they are stripping your natural resources with no regard for the future growth of the country. China is putting money in the pockets of Zimbabwean politicians whilst grabbing every bit of natural resources – you cannot be naive enough to believe that this is for the benefit of Africa? Chinese expansion into Africa is purely to cater for their own growing population. It is a shame Mugabe never went, it would have been interesting to see the outcome, I wonder how involved Grace was in that decision..?

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          The Chinese in Zimbabwe are not theologians, missionaries, philanthropists or humanitarians who have come to this country to spread the word of God but to engage with their Zimbabwean counterparts in serious business. In doing so, they will always put at the back of their mind, their national interests first and Zimbabwean interests do not feature in their business dealings. It is up to the Zimbabwean authorities to set parameters Chinese businessmen have to observe while carrying out their business operations in our country. If the Zimbabwean government is not doing this, it can not be the problem of the Chinese but squarely that of the authorities in our country. I do not share your views that it is a free for all Chinese but are operating within set guidelines by Zimbabwe.
          Mugabe has not been in good books with the leadership of the EU who still regard African leaders as inferior to their European counterparts. The western press coverage of his trip to Brussels was not very helpful when his wife was relentlessly bombarded about the alleged shopping sprees of the First Lady. Of course, this was ridiculous and foolish and a lame excuse for not inviting her as nowadays shoppers do not need to be physically present in a shop as they can easily do it on-line wherever they may be located in this part of the world. The internet has revolutionised the shopping world mate. People in Zimbabwe now buy designer clothes and cars on line while they are in Harare and their wares are shipped to their homes. Ok?

  3. dumbu says:

    Mugabe is not the president of Zimbabwe . He is the president of ZANU(PF). Who cares for him not to go to Brussels ? Rwakasvodeswa nevanoda kusimudzira nyika dzavo .

    • ELIAS says:



  4. Chidhange-chidhange says:

    Why talk about it if its insignificant?

  5. Juju Dubulibhunu says:

    Chimbwido youre are so lost I feel sorry for you. Yes the EU is facing an economic slowdown like most parts of the world but its nothing compared to what Zimbabwe is going through. Just to give you a hint which country in the EU is so stuck that it cannot use its own currency. Worse still so stuck that it has to use the currency of its number one enemy as Zimbabwe is doing. The EU has provided close to 20 billion Euros in aid in the past year to poor countries including African continent. Cde Mutsvanga was lamenting the failure by the Zimbabwean government to pay back chinese loans on the pretext that the Chinese are our friends. Thats why they have refused to fund ZIm Asset which seems to be failing apart before it hits the runway.Wake up and smell the coffee.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      My friend, this all public knowledge. The Warvet is not being critical of the European Union at all but to tell you and everybody else who does not know the economic situation in the continent the truth. Chimbwido Warvet does not have to tell you what you want to hear only when everything around him and everybody else is falling apart. Everything I have said is the truth. The continent is experiencing the most difficult economic times that are reminiscent of the Great Depression of 1929-30.

      The people of Zimbabwe do not need financial aid from the Chinese people but their direct investment that creates employment. Foreign aid has never helped Zimbabwe at all but direct foreign investment has been of tremendous assistance to the country as it creates jobs. The Chinese and Russians are doing just this, mate and this is what the country needs.
      Of course, the Chinese did well by not giving Zimbabwe some money which more often than not ends up being misappropriated by authorities. Besides, foreign aid, creates a dependence syndrome which is highly undesirable.

  6. Peter UK says:

    President JZ Zuma …. what can one say about him. Apparently he spend almost $25 million dollars of taxpayers money on his private residence. Would Mandela have approved of that ?
    Those living in glass houses should not throw stones as Zuma stayed away in solidarity with Mugabe.

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