Normal Statesmanship protocol Resumed: Robert Mugabe meets Zambian President

Many Zimbabweans thought Robert Mugabe would play a semi-retirement role in the inclusive government but much to their surprise it is very much business as usual for the Southern African dictator who has not lost any of his legendary power-base.

Last night Robert Mugabe played host to the first regional leader on a State visit Zimbabwe since the unity government was formed.

The Zambian President Rupiah Banda whose election was hotly disputed by the opposition and he is facing another election in October is in the country as official guest at the International Trade Fair in Bulawayo .

Addressing guests at a banquet hosted for the visiting Zambian leader, in Harare last night, Robert Mugabe said his party ZANU-PF is unrelenting in its commitment to the inclusive government despite what he called few teething problems that may arise in the process.

The Zimbabwean leader said the leadership and the people of Zimbabwe are united in their determination to have the Global Political Agreement (GPA) work, without mentioning his intransigency and defiance in resolving outstanding unity government issues.

True to his usual finger pointing, Robert Mugabe said Zimbabwe’s efforts at turning around the economy will remain a futile exercise if the illegal sanctions imposed by the European Union and the united states remain in place, hence the call by the SADC, the African Union and other progressive countries to have the sanctions removed.

Turning to his self proclaimed big stage hubris, Mugabe said he was sad that there has been little movement towards United Nations Security Council reforms aimed at ending Africa’s marginalisation in the World Bank.

He also turned to Muammar al-Gaddafi’s overly ambitious agenda for which he said that the AU government should be established gradually using a firm foundation of the regional economic blocks.

He said the hurried establishment of the government is like building a house on sand and shattering the dreams of Africa’s founding fathers.

He also took the occasion to congratulate South Africa for its successful holding of elections and the ANC and Jacob Zuma’s victory.

In his misplaced remarks, Zambian President, Rupiah Banda stressed the need for the quick removal of sanctions saying this will help facilitate the implementation of the government’s Short-Term Economic Recovery Programme, STERP and reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to contributing to the programme.

Mr Banda said he is impressed that the Zimbabwean leadership is sticking to the terms of the GPA, saying that will dispel doubts within the international community about the success of the inclusive government.