ZIMBABWE – President Mugabe, who is also the African Union chairman, yesterday left for the third India-Africa Forum Summit, which has been described as India’s largest diplomatic event since the Common wealth and Non-Aligned Movement summits of 1983. Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko is the Acting President.
President Mugabe was accompanied by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni and other senior Government officials.
He was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangangwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo, State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi, Information, Media and Broadcasting Service s Minister Christopher Mushohwe and service chiefs.
President Mugabe was personally invited to the summit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special envoy, Mr Rajyavardhan Rathore, who is also India’s Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, during his visit to Harare on August 27.
In return, President Mugabe also invited Prime Minister Modi to visit Zimbabwe.
The four-day India-Africa Summit, which is expected to attract more than 1 000 delegates and will end on Thursday. It was supposed to be held in December last year, but was shelved due to the deadly Ebola virus, which affected some West African nations, leaving thousands of people dead.
To accommodate the big gathering, the Indira Gandhi Stadium was converted into a makeshift convention centre.