Forget Mugabe’s outburst at the UN: Here are four important issues he raised in his speech


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe shouted ‘we are not gays’ mid-speech, while addressing world leaders on peace, equality and justice, during the United Nations General Assembly yesterday.

After the outburst, there were several reactions on twitter concerning this matter.

However, here are four valid statements Mugabe made that should be the focus:

“Self-determination and independence are intrinsic and fundamental rights that should be enjoyed by all peoples everywhere, without distinction.”

With this statement, Mugabe made a reference to the tendency of foreign nations to interfere in Africa.  In the past, foreigners have exhibited a certain superiority over black Africa. Take for instance, a 2014 article on, says France has been holding the national reserves of fourteen African countries including Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea since 1961. France allows them to access only 15 percent of the money in any given year. If there is need for any more, they need to borrow the extra money from their own 65 percent from the French Treasury at commercial rates. This situation amplifies the gross abuse of Africans by its colonial masters.

“We reject the politicization of this important issue and the application of double standards to victimize those who dare think and act independently of the self-anointed prefects of our time.”

Mugabe raises the issue of continuous aid provided by foreign countries which enable them lay out certain conditions even when it’s against existing customs. For instance, in 2014, the Obama-led administration of the United States, imposed visa restrictions on Ugandans after President Museveni signed an anti-gay law in the country. Also, they shifted some funding for salaries and travel expenses of Ugandan health ministry employees to non-governmental agencies involved in health programs. The reaction of the US to Uganda, one of its allies in the fight against Islamic extremism, shows that Mugabe could be right in condemning great dependence on foreign aid.

“The United Nations was set up, among other purposes, to “develop friendly relations amongst nations.”

Mugabe called the world’s attention to crisis in many countries that need the active intervention of the United Nations. The poor treatment and even rejection of migrants in the EU crisis is an example. For instance, after the European Union failed to reach an agreement on a quota plan for refugees, the UN expressed ‘a deep disappointment’ which could be interpreted as a passive reaction. Although the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, has repeatedly criticized EU countries like Hungary for mistreating migrants, it has done only little to help the situation.

“Gender equality and women empowerment are central to the achievement of human development, progress and the elimination of the scourge of poverty and deprivation.”

Even as a dictator, Robert Mugabe is concerned about women’s rights and gender equality. The fact that an African dictator is attempting to spread awareness about gender equality could be a wake-up call for some middle-eastern countries, where women are not allowed to fully exercise their rights. Mugabe’s statement may challenge them to implement gender friendly policies in their countries.

While the ‘we are not gays’ comment is something the western media would rather focus on, Mugabe’s strong statements on the establishment of an autonomous Africa, the preservation of human rights and the friendliness between UN member countries is certainly what the world needs to pay more attention to.

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