Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe has threatened to sway other African countries out of The United Nation-UN. President Mugabe reiterated that African countries cannot continue to be eroded to the background in the international community. He argued that African countries do not occupy a single seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC). To him, it is simply humiliating.
Mugabe dropped this bombshell during the 26th African Union summit held in Ethiopia on Saturday. Mugabe, who was full of verve while his speech lasted said, “Africans’ hollow speeches” at the UN were yielding no results. “We have asked and asked and asked for Security Council reform.” He further thundered,
“If the United Nations is to survive, we must be equal members of it. Equal members, members … who can say when we go to the body, that we can now, speaking truly as members with a voice that is understood, respected and honored.“
He did not mince words when he lambasted Ban Ki-moon – “We are supposed to be free and independent Mr Ban Ki-moon. You’re a good man, Mr Ban Ki-moon, but we can’t make you a fighter. That’s not what your mission was. But we shall fight for our own identity and personality as Africans.” Mugabe also wondered why the headquarter of The United Nation should be in New York whereas it is supposed to be located where majority of its members are ( which is Africa and Asia)
Mugabe told the UN boss to tell the West that Africa is also part of the world. He said, “Tell them, tell them we are not ghosts, that we also belong to the world … part of the world called Africa, and Africans shall no longer tolerate a position of slavery, slavery by any other name. By denial of rights, slavery by being treated in a manner we regard as not equal to the manner in which they treat themselves.”
Currently, only Britain, China, France, Russia and the US are UNSC permanent members, while the remaining countries serve on a rotational basis, with little or no influence. Hence, Mugabe was simply demanding at least two permanent seats for Africa in his nearly hour-long speech.
Mugabe devoted a good deal of his speech to telling Ban ki-moon to warn Western countries to “shut their mouths,” and march a brake on the increasing intolerance of West’s involvement in Africa’s affairs.
However, there are tell-tale signs that Mugabe might have been using international gatherings to whip his political rivals and western heads. Leaders he personally accused of fortifying opposition and civil society groups against him, being “gay gangsters” and obviously having “bloody hands”.
During the summit, Mugabe did not waste time to further lash out at the western countries present. He told them to mind the affairs of their countries and stop pokenosing into African affairs. He however, agreed that many leaders will stalk him from behind.
Regarding his elongated regime and the internal crisis rocking his party, he said “Regime change, Mugabe should not be there, we want someone else, I will be there until God said come, and join the others. But as long as I am still alive, I’ll still have the punch”.
However, he was equally gracious enough to eulogized Ban Ki-moon for rescuing African countries in times of need. President Mugabe said,
“But you [Ban Ki-moon] have done a good job for us. You have visited our countries, you have wept with us where disease has visited us, whether it was Ebola, or some other, where calamities have occurred, where fights have taken place, where terrorism has also affected us. We thank you for that.”
In conclusion, Mugabe reiterated that democracy in Africa is not feeble as assumed. He thundered, “Africa has come of age and that democracy is alive on our continent.”
In his final words as the African Union Chairman, President Mugabe emphasized the importance of being financially up-to-date, renewal of membership and initiation of long-term Agenda by member countries. He also urged them to take more financial ownership of the AU’s own initiatives such as long-term Agenda 2063, that sets development targets for Africa over the next 50 years or more. Mugabe handed the mantle of African Union-AU Leadership to Chadian President Idriss Deby, having completed his tenure.
However, back home, many of Mugabe’s rivals have described his move to pull Zimbabwe out of UN as absurd and selfish. “That’s a completely absurd suggestion. President Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth (in 2003), but what did we benefit from such an emotional, selfish and angry decision?,”
“Of, course the UN Security Council must be reformed, but this can never be achieved by pulling out of this world body. Africa should simply ignore and laugh off Mugabe’s bizarre proposal of moving out of UN.” said Movement for Demcratic Change – Tsvangirai spokesperson Obert Gutu
Furthermore, the spokesperson of Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe Pishai Muchauraya said: “Zimbabwe needs UN more than UN needs Zimbabwe. It is foolish and nonsensical that the dictator cries about reforming UN security structures yet he has been turning a deaf ear to similar calls for our security sector reforms. Pulling out of UN would be tragic as it would further isolate our fragile country whose economy is in the intensive care unit.”
In his reaction, Zimbabwe’s former education minister and human rights lawyer David Coltrat told Mugabe, “charity begins at home.” He further maintained that Mugabe’s call is hypocritical, since he has not been able to address the numerous challenges facing Zimbabweans. Coltrat wrote on his Facebook page,
“Mugabe’s call for the UN to open up is correct but it is hypocritical in the extreme to call for that when Zimbabwe itself remains a closed society”.