The government of Ghana, which now holds the rotating chair of the African Union, has said President Robert Mugabe should be invited to the European Union-African summit set for December in Lisbon like any other African leader.
Ghanaian Foreign Minister Akwasi Osei Adjei told Reuters “it would not be fair not to invite” an African head of state. “So definitely, the invitation will be issued.”
That declaration came on the heels of a statement by Commonwealth of Nations chief Don McKinnon who said too much was riding on the summit to exclude Mr. Mugabe.
Expressing the opposing viewpoint, Malcolm Rifkind, a former British minister of state for Africa, told the Financial Times recently that to include Mr. Mugabe in the summit would validate the Harare government while humiliating Europe.
Rifkind said that if Mr. Mugabe attended the summit, Zimbabwean state media would characterize this as a triumph. As if to make Rifkind’s point, the state-controlled Herald newspaper on Thursday reported on the statement from McKinnon saying the New Zealander had "admitted that President Mugabe is a hero in Africa."
Political analyst Brian Raftopolous told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the European Union is not speaking with one voice on the matter.
Political analyst Glen Mpani said from Cape Town that Mr Mugabe must be allowed to attend the summit to be told to his face that his policies have ruined the country.
More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...