ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe has been the weakest and worst chairperson of the African Union (AU), the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said.
In a statement this week, party secretary for international relations, Willas Madzimure, said Mugabe whose term of office comes to a conclusion later this month has “folded his hands while Zimbabwe and Africa burns”.
“He (Mugabe) will leave office as the weakest AU leader in the history of the organization so far. If Mugabe’s miserable performance was to be placed on a scale of zero-to-ten, he would score minus one,” said Madzimure.
“Mugabe who assumed the chairpersonship of the 54 member states grouping in January 2015, amid high pitched excitement by his bootlickers, will go down in annals as the worst leader of the continental body. Under the nonagenarian’s stewardship, Africa endured one its bleakest period since the turn of the millennium.
“His report card as AU chair shows that Africa continues to be ravaged by wars, terror attacks, coups, food shortages, droughts, diseases, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, corruption, human and child trafficking, child labour; and high unemployment while he and his continental henchmen stood akimbo”.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba was not available for comment while Zanu PF information secretary Simon Khaya-Moyo said AU was government business.
“The issue of the African Union is government business and nothing to do with the party,’ said Khaya-Moyo.
Madzimure said Mugabe failed to provide political leadership on Africa’s hot-spots many of which remain unresolved while other are at the point of exploding into full-scale conflict as is the case with South Sudan.
He also cited conflicts and coups in Mali and Burkina Faso where General Gilbert Diendere orchestrated a coup de tat on 16 September 2015 as well as growing insecurity on the continent as terror groups Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and ISIS took root in Northern Nigeria, East Africa, West Africa and North Africa.
“In Burundi genocide is unfolding and hundreds of people have been killed since last year by a man who highly admires Mugabe, Pierre Nkurunzinza.
“To all these heinous acts the continental leader seemed to turn a blind eye, maybe realizing he has often relied on the same tactics to extend his rule,” the statement said.
The PDP said Mugabe had remained mum as reports shocked the globe following the death in boats of over 700 people escaping poverty and conflict to Europe.
“The worst of this occurring in August of 2015 when about 700 refugees escaping to Europe from Libya drowned after the boat they were sailing in shipwrecked just outside Libyan waters. The AU chair maintained his deafening silence on this tragic incidence.
“However, the 92-year-old strongman has never missed the occasion to attend presidential inaugurations in Zambia, Tanzania, Nigeria and several other African countries. While attending ceremonies in all these countries the irony that peaceful democratic elections and change of leaders is a taboo in his own country was lost to him,” Madzimure added.
“African leadership has shown to be incompetent, heartless, power hungry and withdrawn from its people’s lives, qualities which largely define Mugabe’s post liberation leadership of his people.
“Indeed, in 2015 Africa raised its most lethargic leadership to the continental helm for the world to see the tragedy that is African leadership.”