Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Senators yesterday hailed the election of President Mugabe as African Union chairperson, saying the development dealt a heavy blow to Western countries. They said it was humbling for African Heads of State and Government to find it befitting that President Mugabe led the continent as it pursued economic development.
They made the remarks while debating a motion by Zanu-PF Senator for Matabeleland North Province, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu, congratulating the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces on his election as AU chairperson.
In her remarks, Cde Mathuthu said it was unprecedented that one President could chair the regional bloc and double up as continental chairperson.
“It is President Mugabe’s characteristics that make him a giant against others because when he decides to do something he does so, on principle” she said.
“He is on record for telling the West that Africa belongs to Africans and as such, they must have a right of self-determination. President Mugabe has also said black people should benefit from the continent’s natural resources. He is against the siphoning of resources from this continent.
“The fact that our President has been trusted by other Presidents in Sadc and Africa, makes it a duty for us to trust him better because we have a good President.”
Mashonaland Central Senator, Cde Damian Mumvuri, said the President was a deserved leader of the continent given his Pan Africanist ideology.
“We celebrate his elevation but there are obstacles like sanctions that will restrict him from carrying out his duties freely.
“Their claims that the sanctions won’t apply when he is carrying out his duties as AU chairperson, expose their double standards. We want the sanctions to be lifted in toto,” said Cde Mumvuri.
Manicaland Senator Cde Judith Mawire and her Mashonaland Central counterpart Cde Alice Chimbudzi, also hailed the election of President Mugabe saying it was testimony of his astute leadership.
Chiefs’ Council president, Chief Fortune Charumbira, said all right-thinking and proud Zimbabweans were bound to celebrate President Mugabe’s election.
“Out of 53 countries in the continent, and you have your President elected chairperson should make us proud. We have been elevated as a country.
“Some of you may be wishful that one day you become President of Zimbabwe, which is possible but to be chairperson of the AU is insurmountable,” said Chief Charumbira.
Opposition legislators did not debate the motion. He said some Presidents in the continent compromised on African values because they relied on the West.
Chief Musarurwa added: “No other President in the world has castigated the bombing of Iraq and Libya yet he did. We also pray that as he celebrates his birthday (91 on Saturday), that God multiplies his years so that he can continue to lead us.”
President Mugabe was unanimously elected AU chairperson at last month’s 24th Ordinary Summit of the African Union General Assembly.