Mugabe’s comment on Mahama: Should African leaders be shamed for standing beside the West?

President Mahama of Ghana joined the list of African presidents showing sympathy and support for France after the November 13 bombings in Paris. This comes after presidents of Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Algeria among others have done the same. However, African Union Chairman and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has come out to condemn Mahama, calling him a “disgrace” for issuing the message. He accused Mahama of doing nothing to curb militancy in Nigeria and other countries while he was ECOWAS chairman.

This is an interesting point raised by President Robert Mugabe who became AU Chairman in January. After all, the most notable achievement made by the organization so far, was preventing Sudanese President Al Bashir from being arrested by the International Criminal Court to answer to charges of genocide and war-crimes. Resolutions have not been made on how to tackle terrorism in member countries, especially in Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, that have borne the brunt of terror attacks in Africa.

Terrorism in any part of the world is evil, and as such should be condemned. However, while Mugabe makes a valid argument around African’s prioritising pain in the West over our own- but it can’t help but seem that the Zimbabwean leader is playing politics- which is his forte. Surely a leader so critical of expressing condolences of terrorism in the West, would have expressed outrage and support for terrorism in Africa, or perhaps his press secretary forgot to release a statement three times in a row this week?

Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years. He has been credited with leading his people into poverty with his policies. While many are critical of Mugabe for his policy implementation, particularly indigenisation– some of his contentions around Africa’s dynamic with the West are useful and critical. Maybe he should lead by example?

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