22 February 2014

Zimbabwe: EU Sanctions Move Nonsensical - Mugabe

Photo: Nehanda Radio
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has rubbished the maintenance of a travel ban and asset freeze against him and his wife by the European Union (EU) insisting this was a failed foreign ploy to seek his ouster.

"That's nonsense, rubbish. I can't understand what Europe wants to achieve or Britain wants to achieve," Mugabe said in a televised interview with ZBC-TV, now an annual ritual feature on the eve of his birthday.

Mugabe, 90, admitted the western embargo has limited his country's capacity to interact with the rest of the world and to access lines of credit, but he went on to dismiss them as a big farce.

The EU bloc last week scrapped its sanctions on all the remaining aides to the veteran leader including the largely partisan military chiefs but extended the embargo by another year on the first couple.

Mugabe was adamant this was nonsensical and a tired underhand strategy to dislodge him from his job, which he has clung onto since leading the country to independence 1980.

"That nonsensical approach of 'I will remove this and leave that' does not have any meaning to us at all and it's high time this stupidity was dropped.

"We don't understand the sense of it anyway and as Zimbabwe, sanctions or no sanctions, we shall continue," he said.

The Zimbabwean leader praised his peers within the African Union for their "principled" stand when they threatened a general boycott of the EU-AU summit set for Brussels, Belgium April this year if he was not invited.

Mugabe, who was recently elected AU vice chair, insisted Africa would not be complete without all its members, Zimbabwe included.

He also came out strongly against the current salary scandal involving top executives running the country's loss making entities insisting they must be jailed for open plunder.

The veteran leader had no kind words either for his cabinet ministers he accused of failing to adequately supervise public firms which fall under their ministries resulting in the company bosses taking home hundreds of thousands in terms of salaries.

Turning to his family life, President Mugabe reserved glowing praise for his eldest child Bona, 24, now a holder of a university degree obtained with a renowned Singaporean institution and is also set to wed beginning of March.

Mugabe took delight in poking fun at his other two children he said were a carefree lot which loves sports, with the youngest dreaming of one day becoming President of the country.

Mugabe, who insists he is still "as fit as a fiddle", said he never saw himself living up to a time he saw his daughter complete school and go to university.

He said he wished to see his younger offspring grow and also go to university.

The Zanu PF leader however, admitted the "multiplicity" of companies mining diamonds and other minerals in the country has opened his country's finite wealth to plunder by foreign partners.

He said his government has resolved to prune the number of companies digging diamonds in the controversial Chiadzwa area to a manageable two.

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