News / Africa

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Excluded from US-Africa Summit

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, Feb. 23, 2014.Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, Feb. 23, 2014.
x
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, Feb. 23, 2014.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, Feb. 23, 2014.

U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting a summit of African leaders in an effort to strengthen American ties with the continent.  But Zimbabwe, which desperately needs investment from abroad, will not be represented because of President Robert Mugabe's tainted human rights record.

Trade and investment issues are an important part of the three-day U.S.-Africa summit taking place this week in Washington.

Talking to African journalists by telephone ahead of the meeting, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield  said the summit was a “historic event.”

“The theme of the summit is “Investing in the Next Generation."  We think this reflects the common ambitions that we share with the people and governments of Africa, to leave our nations better for future generations by making gains in peace and security, and good governance and economic development.  So this is going to be an extraordinarily productive and fruitful discussion," she said.

But one of those missing that fruitful discussion is Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. The 90-year-old Zimbabwean leader is subject to U.S. travel and financial sanctions because of his poor human rights record and history of alleged election rigging.

He joins Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, Eritrea's Isaias Afwerki and the Central African Republic's Catherine Samba-Panza on the small list of African leaders excluded from the summit.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, who heads the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said Zimbabwe stood to lose a lot by not being represented at this meeting.

"So the meeting in Washington is important for trade among those countries that are meeting Obama.  And also for countries that are looking for foreign direct investment, they will be meeting with American conglomerates that want to invest in developing economies such as Nigeria - Africa’s biggest economy, followed by South Africa.  So it is important that such countries meet particularly in America where the heartbeat of international economy is," said Ruhanya.

Zimbabwe's economy has alternated between depression and weak growth for nearly 15 years, ever since Mugabe's government began to forcibly drive white commercial farmers off their land.  Foreign companies are generally reluctant to invest in the country because of political turmoil and Mugabe's nationalistic economic policies.

Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014. (Sebastian Mhofu/VOA)Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014. (Sebastian Mhofu/VOA)
x
Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014. (Sebastian Mhofu/VOA)
Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014. (Sebastian Mhofu/VOA)

Zimbabwe's deputy foreign affairs minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, agreed with Ruhanya that the summit was crucial for Africa.

But when it comes to Zimbabwe, he said the government was at peace not being present for the discussions.

“Of course, we as Zimbabweans we are not invited.  We have no misgivings when America decides to exclude us.  It is a country which has been uncomfortable with an assertive nationalist.  We brook no strictures from anybody, including America,” said Mutsvangwa.

I asked Ruhanya if Mugabe’s exclusion had something to do with his “assertive nationalism."

"No, it has nothing to do with uprightness to the West or otherwise.  But it has to do with how he governs his country.  The kind of economic undergrowth that we have seen has nothing to do with the West.  America is averse to authoritarian regimes, averse to patrimonial regimes, that is why Mugabe is not there.  That is why he was not invited by Obama. Also to do with the election of last year," he said.

The Obama administration was one of the Western governments that refused to recognize Mugabe’s re-election in July 2013, which the opposition MDC party says was rigged.

You May Like

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Met Mina from: South Africa
August 06, 2014 2:15 PM
Who are you America on our Zimbabwean or African issues, is that what a humanitarian organization do, to devide and rule. You think we are all fools to go against our own President because of your evil pretence. Where have you ever seen someone who loves the children of a father that they hate, please, please leave us alone, God the Almighty will look after us, keep your carrots and never mind about us. We are now getting agitated by your cheap politics. You think we are too foolish to see what you have long embarked on against Zimbabwe, don't pretend to be good people, God knows you are cruel, if you have people of Zimbabwe help them quietly not your stupid, empty noise..please...
In Response

by: Martin from: Gweru
August 07, 2014 3:22 AM
Met Mina that's exactly what they are doing leaving us alone to our selfish rulers who neglect to invest in the public health sector but prefer to go out of Africa on the very poor tax payers' money to seek medical help. Met Mina you should come back home and work for the good of Zimbabwe instead of being a dog for the boers.

by: son of the soil from: zimbabwe
August 06, 2014 12:53 PM
Who doesnhebthink he is,how have we been living for the past 15 years. Africa will never become a country full of immigrants.

by: Bill Fairbairn from: Canada
August 06, 2014 8:15 AM
When will the U.S. and Britain give Zimbabwe the chance it deserves? Gaza needs this chance too.

by: Elford Takudzwa Makarichi from: Johansburg
August 06, 2014 2:38 AM
Mugabe is our beloved president.whether they invite him or nt that has nothing to do wt hm.We wil always loves yu nomater watever they say about yu.Obama should concentrate on American issues den Mugabe on Zimbabwean issues thats all.Tinokudai Gushungo

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
August 06, 2014 1:45 AM
Robert Gabriel Mugabe may our Lord bless you forever. You are my hero! Continue to stand tall and firm, never blink.

by: Chabanga@gmail.com from: Masheast
August 05, 2014 1:50 PM
Ours is a true leader who will never bow to the west in favour of money.Mugabe lion of the west when he roar the west trebble; it wants to cheat weak minds

by: nhlanhla from: south africa
August 05, 2014 8:53 AM
Last african Dictator.
In Response

by: Trigger lickshot from: London
August 08, 2014 12:28 PM
The king of Africa you might as well say it.

by: Tonderai Maxwell Murema from: Polokwane South Africa
August 05, 2014 1:25 AM
Obama be adviced that we stand by our president Mugabe whether bad or good he is our president am sorry for you, you think u can rule the whole world of course u can but not in Zimbabwe we do have our president Mugabe and again be advised that we voted for him so why undermining the wishes of the Zimbabwean people sorry Mr the whole world president in Zimbabwe we dont need you we have eyes to see and we have ears to hear and we have education to deduce where there is wrong and good am sorry Mr Obama your country is not only the mother of all countries while u are busy with your so called puppets or maybe leaders of your provinces in africa Mudhara Mugabe is busy somewhere with some pressing issues
In Response

by: Owen from: South Africa
August 06, 2014 3:55 AM
Zimbabwe is a great country and we have great leaders. GOD bless Zimbabwe. We are out of the country for a good course. GOD love u Zimbabwe. America wants to rule Africa and we African don't see that.
In Response

by: xhanti from: western cape
August 05, 2014 7:57 AM
Then why are you in south Africa if you are happy with your president go back to Zimbabwe then.

by: michael from: Nigeria
August 05, 2014 12:44 AM
Good Obama

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More