President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe will not be invited to attend a Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Kampala, Uganda, in November, Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa told the Voice of America on Tuesday.
Kutesa said Uganda does not plan to invite Zimbabwe because Harare no longer belongs to the Commonwealth. Zimbabwe pulled out of the grouping in 2003 after its suspension over alleged irregularities in presidential voting the previous year.
Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon said Monday while attending a meeting in Kampala that he did not expect Zimbabwe to attend the meeting.
Foreign Minister Kutesa also told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it was unlikely that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni would extend a special invitation to President Mugabe, as some reports suggested.
Political analyst Peter Kagwanja of the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa said Uganda was within its rights not to invite Mr. Mugabe, as it wished to avoid focusing attention on Zimbabwe and its own human rights record.
McKinnon, at a meeting of women's affairs ministers, warned Uganda to be prepared for questions such as, "Where is the truce with the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army)? Is it lasting, and what sort of justice, if any is due to Joseph Kony? Where stands the case against Kizza Besigye, and the need to separate state and party...and to keep harassment and the threat of violence out of Ugandan elections?"
More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...