WASHINGTON DC —
President Robert Mugabe is expected to address the United Nations General Assembly today amid national and international protests against his rule as the ruling Zanu PF government bans the commercial production, sale and abuse of the national flag, a symbol of citizens’ current thrust for Zimbabwe’s social, economic and political transformation.
Critics say the 92-year-old Zimbabwean leader is likely to attack the West for maintaining targeted sanctions on him, his wife, Grace, and some top Zanu PF officials for alleged human rights violations.
Addressing a United Nations Refugee Summit in New York on Monday, Mr. Mugabe blamed powerful people in various nations, who served narrow interests, for the proliferation of armed conflicts, which have spawned millions of refugees worldwide.
“Apart from natural disasters, large scale movements are in great measure a result of direct commission and omission by humankind. Consequently, therefore, more effort must be exerted towards peaceful settlement of disputes under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter.
“More often than not, member states have been too keen to resort to force without exhausting peaceful means. This hegemonic military doctrine and adventurism fueled by a desire to achieve the narrow interest of a powerful few is at the root of the proliferation of armed conflicts which has spawned so many refugees today.”
Meanwhile, the government has invoked Statutory Instrument 184 of 1987 to ban the commercial production, sale or any so-called abuse of the national flag in an attempt to clamp down on protesters that have been draping themselves with the national flag to show discontent on the current deteriorating social and economic situation in the country.
Some protesters have urged the president to step down for allegedly failing to properly run the country, which he has ruled since independence from British rule in 1980.
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