Robert Mugabe expected to take AU Chair

Harare – President Robert Mugabe left Zimbabwe on Wednesday for Addis Ababa to attend an African Union summit at which he is expected to be appointed the continental body’s new chairman, according to a report.

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Mugabe was seen off at Harare International Airport by security chiefs and cabinet ministers, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s Power FM reported.

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The 90-year-old already chairs the 15-member Southern African Development Community.

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Critics say Mugabe’s well-known antagonism towards the West will not help Africa engage with key international partners to overcome problems like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria when he takes over as AU chair.

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Zanu-PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo said at the weekend that Mugabe’s imminent promotion to lead the continental body was “in recognition of his tremendous contribution as a tested leader not only in Zimbabwe but throughout the continent”.

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Mugabe will take over from the current AU chairman, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania.