Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
The African Union Commission has hailed President Mugabe for honouring his pledge when he recently donated 300 head of cattle and urged other leaders to emulate the generous gesture.
Last month, the African Union Commissioner deputy chairperson Mr Erastus Mwencha received the cattle that were donated by the President to the African Union Foundation.
The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Ambassador Smail Chergui yesterday said President Mugabe’s donation would send a clear message to the citizens of the continent that they were their own liberators.
“I also wish to thank the President (Mugabe) for honouring his pledge to the African Union when he recently handed over 300 herd of cattle to the deputy chairperson of the Commission, Mr Mwencha.
“The President is, indeed, a true son of Africa and I have no doubt his generous donation sent a clear message to the citizens of our continent that we are our own liberators and developers.
“This is a model that should be emulated by other sons and daughters of Africa,” he said.
Ambassador Chergui said this at the Zimbabwe National Defence College where he was presenting on a topic on, ‘African Solutions to African Problems: African Union Perspective and Challenges’.
“The force of his personality, the clarity of his vision, combined with the support of his colleagues, enabled our Union to scale up to new heights, not only in terms of AU’s visibility, but also in its relevance in addressing and resolving critical African continental and global issues, be they on climate change, migration, Ebola, unconstitutional changes of government, terrorism and violent extremism, as well as reforming the United Nations Security Council and sustainable development goals, to name but some,” said Ambassador Chergui.
He said President Mugabe rekindled the fire of Pan-Africanism, the glue that binds and bonds them together as Africans.
“The President’s focus on value addition and beneficiation of our resources, launched the continent on a new path that redefines, for our own benefit, our economic, financial and industrial relations with the rest of the world. It is the same theme that he vigorously promoted when he successfully chaired SADC in 2014-2015,” he said.
He thanked the leadership of the Zimbabwe National Defence College and Commander Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga for extending an invitation to the commission to come and share the vision of the Africa they want for generations to come.
He said this dialogue between the AU Commission and centres of learning, training and excellence was at the core of their approach to bringing the AU activities, including Agenda 2063, to the practitioners at national levels and enable the implementers of this agenda to think-continent-wide, while acting locally.
“Thirdly, I would like to request the people of Zimbabwe to accept my belated best wishes for President Mugabe on the occasion of his 92nd birthday.
“I wish him many more years of exemplary life and leadership, as well as of strength and wisdom to lead this great country in the face of many challenges it faces, in particular, the devastating effects of the drought associated with the infamous El Nino weather phenomenon,” he said.
President Mugabe, who was AU and sadc chairman when he made the pledge in June last year, made the donation as a way of dissuading Africa from over-reliance on external partners whose donations come with strings attached.
The African Union Foundation is the brainchild of African Heads of State and Government and was created for the purposes of collaborating with the private sector, philanthropists, individuals and the Diaspora to solicit donations and seek voluntary contributions towards the financing of Africa’s development priorities in pursuit of Agenda 2063.