Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba has reportedly taken a swipe at the EU’s “attempt to stop First Lady [Grace Mugabe] from travelling with her husband” who is set to attend an EU-AU summit in Belgium next week.
According to The Herald, George Charamba said it was strange that the EU had not extended an invitation to the First Lady, adding “What God has put together the EU is trying to separate”.
Charamba asked: “Do they expect the president to respect the EU and disrespect his own marriage?”
Previous EU-AU summits have been rocked by controversy over Mugabe, who is banned from travelling to Europe.
The summit is expected to focus on strategic priorities under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.
The strategy seeks to enhance political co-operation and partnerships at all levels.
The report said the EU has also not invited AU member, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir.
The development is reported to have incensed Mugabe who is the first AU deputy chair. The report said Mugabe “might not participate in the summit as a result”.
A senior government official said Mugabe questioned where the EU was getting the authority to determine who was an AU member and who was not.
The official said the EU was trying to dictate who should the delegations of African leaders and even the membership of the AU.