Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mugabe seeks peace with 'arrogant' West

18 September 2013, 06:23

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Tuesday he was ready to re-establish normal relations with the "arrogant" Western countries that have questioned his re-election in a vote his rivals say was fraudulent.

Striking an unusually conciliatory tone, the 89-year-old, who has dismissed Western criticism of his 31 July victory, told parliament his Zanu-PF party would pursue a constructive foreign policy based on cooperation with other countries.

"We indeed stand ready to work even with those who, before, were at odds with us, our detractors," he said, without naming any state, at a pomp-filled opening of parliament.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change boycotted the ceremony in protest at what it has described as "massive fraud".

Mugabe arrived at parliament in a vintage Rolls Royce, flanked by police on horseback, some of the many colonial era-style trappings at odds with the politics of a leader known more for his verbal tirades against the West, especially former imperial power Britain.

However, Mugabe's 40-minute speech was remarkable for its politesse.

He described Western powers as arrogant for keeping sanctions on his Zanu-PF government for the last 13 years over charges of rights abuses and vote rigging, and said his administration would strengthen laws to force foreign-owned firms to surrender majority shares to locals.

However, overall he focused on plans to revive an economy struggling with poverty and unemployment.

Mugabe's victory was endorsed as free by African observers but London and Washington questioned whether it represented the will of the southern African nation's 13 million people and said sanctions against top figures in Harare should stay.

Normal ties with the West would help Zimbabwe's economic recovery from a decade-long slump that ended in 2009 with the scrapping of the worthless Zimbabwe dollar, and to that end Mugabe has been calling for a lifting of sanctions.

He received a boost on Tuesday when the European Union agreed to lift curbs on state mining firm Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

Despite his radical rhetoric, Mugabe - Africa's oldest leader - has also shown a soft spot for British history and culture, speaking in immaculate "Queen's English", dressing in suits and ties and enjoying tea and cricket in the afternoon.

His respect for tradition was evident in the parliamentary ceremony, which included a guard of honour, a fly-past by military jets and 21-gun salute. He was also invited to address the House by a bewigged speaker, another echo of British political convention.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...