ZIMBABWE – In May this year, Togolese leader Faure Gnassingbe, dispatched his foreign minister to Harare to invite President Robert Mugabe to a continental conference on maritime security and development.
The African Union conference is set to be held in the Togolese capital, Lome in November.
Whether or not Mugabe, who chairs the African Union (AU), was not keen to travel to West Africa remains unclear but the Togolese leader considered it prudent to jet into Harare Monday to personally press the matter.
Gnassingbe met Mugabe for a couple of hours at State House in the capital.
Speaking after the meeting, the Togolese leader said: During (the) conference, we will also talk about the issue of illegal immigrants from Africa to Europe.
It has actually become a burning problem especially in countries in West Africa.
I have said to President Mugabe that I will be happy to welcome him at this conference, that he can chair this conference so that he can use his wisdom for the success of this conference.
Gnassingbe said it was under Mugabe chairmanship that the AU accepted to host the conference which will also discuss other related issues apart from illegal migration.
The conference on Maritime Security and Safety relates to issues of piracy that have become a serious problem for Africa, he explained.
There is a problem of piracy, illegal fishing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms trafficking, pollution of our waters in our seas.
Vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko also attended the meeting with the Togolese leader along with cabinet ministers and other top government officials.