EU’s duplicity further exposed

Mohamed Morsi

Mohamed Morsi

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter—
THE European Union’s contempt of the African Union was further exposed yesterday after it emerged the bloc barred Eritrea from attending the forthcoming EU-Africa Summit, while Egypt was invited despite it being under AU sanctions following the removal of a legitimately elected President Mohamed Morsi, last year.

Mr Morsi was overthrown in a military-backed uprising in July last year.
Eritrea is a full member of the AU and has not been invited to the Summit just like the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, which is also a part of the continental body but has the majority of its land under Moroccan rule.

The EU’s duplicity was exposed by Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Joey Bimha, when he appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday.

“The issue of the EU-Africa Summit was first discussed within sadc and before this summit the AU had taken a position that the EU cannot cherry-pick who was going to attend,” he said.

“The issue went to the AU Heads of State meeting in Addis Ababa and they endorsed that decision that it’s all of Africa and all of Europe that would attend the meeting.”

Ambassador Bimha said initially the EU had only sent an invitation to Zimbabwe but later sent a personal invitation to President Mugabe following pressure from the AU.

“So when the President did make up his delegation, we submitted the list to the EU and we then discovered that the First Lady had not been given a visa.

“We then brought the issue both to sadc and the AU that is when we noticed that the EU had not invited Eritrea and Sudan. Egypt, which is under AU sanctions had been invited,” he said.

“So they have discussed these issues together with the non-invitation of the First Lady and the (AU’s) committee of Permanent Representatives met and mandated their team in Brussels that if the EU doesn’t respect the decision made by the AU Heads of State then the meeting be postponed.”

Ambassador Bimha said it was President Mugabe’s prerogative to determine the composition of his delegation irrespective of the role the individuals would play at the summit.

The AU’s team was yesterday expected to meet their counterparts from Europe to discuss the way forward.
Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Portfolio Committee, Cde Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge South), condemned the EU’s actions.

“The Committee on Foreign Affairs condemns in the strongest terms the inconsistencies on the part the EU and recommends to the executive that unless the First Lady is issued with a visa the meeting should be postponed or they should not be part of the summit.
“They should not dictate who should be in the President’s delegation. Zimbabwe is a sovereign country and has leadership which is internationally recognised including the First Lady so she has a right to accompany the President.

EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe on Monday said the bloc had not invited the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic because it is not fully recognised internationally, while Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir had been barred because of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued against him.

At its 22nd Ordinary Session of the General Assembly early this year, the AU threatened to boycott the EU-Africa Summit if President Mugabe was not invited.

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  • Muchafunga

    As has already been stated, this is an EU-Africa summit, being a member of the AU, SADC, COMESA, ECOWAS etc.. is not an essential criteria for an invitation. Having been bestowed a title of VP to the AU club, which is fading into irrelevance as it continues to protect its cohort of exclusive dictators rather than its member citizens, confers no extra privileges. If President Mugabe as an individual refuses to participate, this is of absolutely no concern to the EU.
    The vast majority of eligible African nations with the preeminent interests of their own people at heart, will continue with the summit in order to maximize potential benefits for their respective countries.
    While the 4th EU-Africa Summit will take place in Brussels on 2-3 April 2014, of note and major interest to the same participating African nations will be the the other summits and forums in Brussels surrounding this event.
    Surprisingly the Herald has not seen fit to emphasize their importance or any key Zimbabwean political figures or business participation, namely :-.
    The 3rd Pan-African-European Parliamentary Summit, 31 March – 1 April 2014
    The 3rd Africa-Europe Youth Summit, 31 March – 1 April 2014
    The 5th EU-Africa Business Forum, 31 March-1 April 2014
    EU-Africa economic and social stakeholders’ network meeting, 4-5 March 2014.

    • Timba

      Your first sentence alone shows just how much you do not even know what you are talking about and what exactly you are commenting on. Research inodiwa kwete kungorotomoka kunge une relevance….

    • Tongoona

      Wonder why Farirai Machivenyika lied about Eritrea?
      Eritrean Director of President Office, Mr. Yemane Gebremeskel issued a declaration denouncing the Herald report as “factually wrong”. His comments follow ….
      Director of President Office, Mr. Yemane Gebremeskel, today (26/03/2014) informed that the invitation for Eritrea to attend the Summit was delivered to the Foreign Office by the EU Ambassador a month back. He also said that Eritrea had attended previous EU-Africa Summits at the Head of State level but for this year Foreign Minister Oman Saleh will represent President Isaias. He also adds ties between Eritrea and the EU remains warm and healthy.

  • shava

    What purpose is she going to serve? Who cares? *** ***

  • Sadombo

    Here in Zim we have liquidity challenges, and you want to put unnecessary people on the delegation, does that make sense?

    • Timba

      It does not if you do not fully grasp the matter of principal at hand….

  • tapera

    can muchafunga i am suprised to he a zimbabwean who still thinks a white man deserves better than a black man

    • Timba

      Izita chete, sounds like murungu arikungodawo kufonyora brain dzevanhu

  • Muneyinazvomupunzarima

    Taurirai EU kuti vakuru vakwegura havagoni kufamba vasina muchengeti. Kuchengeta baba ndobasa raamai chero risina kurehwa pamatsamba ekukoka vatungamiri. Chokwadi chirikunetsa kutaura here?

  • Henock

    Dear Fairai – Eritrea is invited and planning to attend. Not that i personally think such meetings benefit Eritrea or Africa but the info above re Eritrea is not accurate.