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Zimbabwe’s Mugabe May Return to World Stage as Leader of African Union

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Picture: REUTERS

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Picture: REUTERS

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is in prime position to become the next leader of the 54-member African Union, after securing the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community last week. Nothing bars Mugabe from simultaneously taking the helm of both, while also running his troubled country.

The continent’s oldest president will turn 91 on Feb. 21 and if, as is probable, he is chosen by fellow African heads of state early next year to become their leader for the next 12 months, his meticulously planned political comeback will be one of the most complete in modern history.

Still a liberation hero in parts of Africa, particularly the south, Mugabe’s status as a pariah in many Western countries and in human rights circles in Zimbabwe has only recently improved. He and his wife Grace are still under sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union.

He was not invited by President Barack Obama to this month’s inaugural U.S. – Africa summit in Washington, for example.  But all that could change quite soon.

“He is the man to beat,” says a senior African Union official in Addis Ababa, asking not to be named. “We rotate the chairmanship between regions and next year is Southern Africa’s turn. Since President Mugabe has just taken over at Sadc, we can assume he will be the group’s candidate and that he will be chosen by his peers.”

The near-unanimous respect for Mugabe ended in the late 1990s and 2000s, mainly due to the confiscation of white-owned farms and violent repression of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Almost no one familiar with the AU electoral process doubts Mugabe is a virtually unassailable favorite for the post he previously held in 1997-98 when the AU was the OAU, or Organization of African Unity. One exception is a European ambassador in a Southern African capital, who says: “I don’t think Africa will allow that to happen; it will be a massive own goal.”



What people are saying

12 thoughts on “Zimbabwe’s Mugabe May Return to World Stage as Leader of African Union

  1. Sundiata Keita says:

    welp, we know what that means. that means Canada and the opposition party are going to try to assasinate him again

  2. Charles Seay says:

    I have come to understand that the US Government does not allow Sir Robert Mugabe to travel 25 miles outside of the UN. With such a distinction placed on Sir Robert Mugabe would that ban be lifted?

  3. Asgard Unimatrix says:

    No one wants that old murderer on the world stage unless its to face his crimes … mugabe is not a leader his a pathetic asswipe

  4. Charles Seay says:

    Not all that sure about what white people have to say about the man, but most of the information I have received has come from the Zimbabwe Herald and people who are familiar with the topic. Can you help us learn more about Sir Robert Mugabe?

  5. Long live King Mugabe!.. Africa gotta learn to stand on her own feet! Fuck U.S, U.K and their allies! Who are they to decide for us????!!! They kill for no reasons but greedy! Why dont they get sanctioned as well!!! Asgard you are also a fool!

  6. Wallace Muhammad says:

    Its about time for Africa to tell the U.S., Europe and all the rest of those colonizing raping countries to go F…OFF!!! Just like NO other country has ANY say so on who Americans chooses as their president, NOBODY should be trying to tell Africans who they should or shouldn't elect as the next leader of The A.U. Unfortunately my countries leader think they can control/rule, protect, govern and think for the rest of the world but those days are coming to an END Fam, Peace!

  7. What Mugabe represents scares the living daylights of the US and UK. Mugabe has called a spade a spade and told them you time of looting and plundering has come to an end. Imagine how the continent and indeed the World would be like if the rest of Africa follows suit, this even more so if he is elected to head the AU.

  8. Asgard Unimatrix says:

    Lol long live mugabe , you really think mugabe cares about you , 30yrs for the majority of zims living below the poverty line yet before mugabe took over zim was the envy of african nations , now we worse than haiti … lol u know what lets see what zim can do alone . Zim needs the rest of the world to survive or it'll just carry on begging

  9. Asgard Unimatrix says:

    Lugimbo ur the fool mugabes lil bitch , go suck the old farts ass u moron

  10. Long live mugabe , the African King

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