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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Accuses West of Double Standard on Climate, Human Rights

President Mugabe accused the West of holding to a double standard under which it failed to move with dispatch to address global warming while taking the developing world to task over alleged human rights abuses

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Ntungamili Nkomo

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday chided the West from the podium of the United Nations summit on climate change in Copenhagen for what he charged was a double standard under which it fell short on addressing global warming while taking developing countries to task over human rights.

Mr. Mugabe told the climate change summit: "When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it's we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere who gasp and sink and eventually die."

He complained that polluters are not pursued by Western governments with the same zeal they show in castigating abusers of human rights.

"Why," asked Mr. Mugabe, "is the guilty North not showing the same fundamentalist spirit it exhibits in our developing countries on human rights matters on this more menacing threat of climate change?"

He appeared to single out the United States in his remarks, demanding, "When a country spits on the Kyoto Protocol by seeking to shrink from its diktats, or by simply refusing to accede to it, is it not violating the global rule of law?" The United States has declined to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

He said the developing world would be called upon to clean up the mess left by the industrialized West, therefore deserved ample climate-related funding.

"We who bear the burden of healing the gasping earth must draw the most from the global purse for remedial action," Mr. Mugabe declared.

The Zimbabwean president's arrival in Copenhagen caused a stir among critics who said he should not have been admitted to the country let alone the climate summit given his record on human rights and general issues of governance. He has drawn such fire on numerous occasions at U.N. conferences, particularly the annual gathering on food security in Rome where skeptics have contrasted his country's dire situation after a decade of land reform with his rhetoric.

Denmark and the 26 other European Union states have barred Mr. Mugabe and many other ZANU-PF officials and supporters from travel within the economic and political bloc – but such sanctions do not apply to U.N. gatherings.

President Mugabe’s delegation of 70, meanwhile, came under fire at home given the cost incurred by such a large entourage. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai canceled his plans to attend the summit with a smaller group citing massive official travel costs since the unity government's formation in February.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmessen was called upon to explain Mr. Mugabe’s presence to human rights activists and responded that “nobody can be in doubt about my attitude toward Mugabe and Zimbabwe,” but defended the diplomatic decision to admit Mr. Mugabe to his country.

Geneva-based human rights lawyer Marlon Zakeyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Mugabe can attend such meetings under diplomatic rules regarding U.N. meetings - but must be reminded of his excesses.

Sources in Harare said meanwhile that Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Tsvangirai and the third unity government principal, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, have told their negotiators to address all remaining contentious issues on the table in the latest round of talks and submit a final report to them before Monday.

The three principals issued the instruction after meeting on Monday to discuss a preliminary report submitted by their negotiators on progress to date.

A statement from President Mugabe’s office published in the state-run Herald newspaper said the principals agreed on some of the recommendations from the negotiators for Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change, but disagreed on others.

Minister of State Gorden Moyo, attached to Mr. Tsvangirai's office, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the principals want to achieve closure on the so-called outstanding issues before Christmas.

Elsewhere, Harare correspondent Irwin Chifera reported that Parliament's select committee on constitutional reform said public consultations on redrafting of the basic document, postponed several times, will finally begin next month.

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by: jassie
04.01.2010 10:27
only god knows guys lets wait and see .am not scared


by: Roy Gombwe
22.12.2009 11:18
I really don't know what old Bob wants to achieve by attending these summits.Which country on earth he hasn't visited in the last 3 decades,kubva shanyai zvenyu Gushungo mupedze shungu ,but the cuontry is burning while you lavish.He wants to show us that he can defy the travel bans and send a bold statement,we know the travel restriction and the conditions so you are not fooling us mudhara.Infact you are showing us how heartlessand uncaring you are


by: Zimba Nation
21.12.2009 10:42
Can Zimabweans stop looosing focus and start thinking for positive ways to get our country back on its feet. Mugabe is a probem and he is gonna be our problem as long as we keep on loosing focus.Mugabe has himself and his friends at heart.He has nothing for Zimbabwe at all.Dont join him.


by: Jack
20.12.2009 11:18
He sees an opportunity to put the focus away from his actions and onto the US - blaming "capitalists" as if they are the problem while trying to get more resources under the guise of environmental clean-up - when in fact there is no clean up needed or happening.


by: amazed
19.12.2009 10:57
mugabe claims to have degrees in vioence. Is rape not used as a weapon?A person who condones such action is as guilty as the perpetrator . Has mugabe instructed the arrest of perpetrators? The answer is a big NO!Why not?
Then there is this issue of 40%, If a person who goes all out to rig an election,using all the tools in his arsenal,includin rape and violence but only gets a so called 40% then what would he have got if it really was free and fair? 20% MAYBE. This is logic|


by: Ex Zimbo
18.12.2009 17:06
Uncle Bob 12 million people cut down and burn wood every day to cook because you can't keep the power on. Goats have eaten everything green and distroyed the vegetation and you expect the people you hate to pay you.

The carbon emission from wood fires in Africa doubles what the USA pumps out, No emission controls on the cars and you can hardly breath in the big cities at night.


by: Usadherere
18.12.2009 10:38
If yourself voted for the octagerian dictator masquarading as the President of Zimbabwe,therefore he represents you,your wife and maybe your daughter so don't call yourselves 40% of the electorate.Tired of being lead by someone exhibiting advanced signs of end stage dementia.NO!!!!!


by: manyara
18.12.2009 10:20
We all no why you white people hate mugabe, its because he is not afraid of ur wooden dogs and clay knives, we broke the glass ceiling a long time ago. Dont be fooled that out ppl hate or dislike him as you have been led to believe.


by: hurt zimbabwean
18.12.2009 10:05
true zimbabwean i wonder if u are a real true zimbabwean, how true are your findings on that percentage, be remember mugabe isnt needed by many, rigging is his game, so dont base on that. do a proper survey and talk facts. what u say isnt real. we are hurt by this man, and i wont be surprised u arent there in zimbabwe yourself, but have the guts to talk like that, if u are there you are either his puppet and bussy stealing the remaining resources.


by: true zimbabwean
18.12.2009 05:11
Did Mugabe rape anyone. When some one is raped in Britain do you blame Brown.remember mugabe is still respected by at least 40% of the electorate. the views of the 40% he represent should be respected if we are to move forward. Do you represent any %of the zimbabwe people yourself. Face logic

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