By Alex Bell
Robert Mugabe’s reported rant against the African Union (AU) . . .[restrict]and its handling of the crisis in Libya last year, is a sign that the ageing leader is ‘panicked’.
This is according to a leading political analyst who told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that Mugabe is showing his true colours by criticising the AU in this instance.
Mugabe reportedly lambasted the AU as a “toothless bulldog” for failing to stop NATO from bombing Libya and helping with the ultimate downfall of the late Muammar Gaddafi last year. Speaking during an AU session on peace and security on Monday, Mugabe asked: “Well, well that was Libya. Who will be next?”
Mugabe then left the summit in Ethiopia on Tuesday and at the airport, he accused unnamed African countries of being “fronts” for Western powers whose “criminal” NATO bombardment of Libya helped lead to the killing of Gaddafi.
He also said it was “unprocedural” for the AU’s Peace and Security Council to make the decision to recognize Libya’s former rebels, the National Transitional Council (NTC), instead of the whole summit of leaders.
Zimbabwe has not yet officially recognised the NTC.
Political analyst Professor John Makumbe said on Wednesday that Mugabe is clearly showing the world his preference for governance in Africa.
“Mugabe is displaying his colours as a dictator. Its really embarrassing that a Head of State of a so called ‘democratic’ country would chide the AU for helping the freedom of another country,” Makumbe said.
The AU ironically has previously been labelled a ‘toothless bulldog’ and roundly criticised by Mugabe opponents for not taking action in Zimbabwe. Makumbe said it is now “laughable” that Mugabe is taking this route of criticism for the same reasons, but in a different context.
“Ultimately this is a preemptive move by him. Basically he is saying: ‘If there is a people’s movement in Zimbabwe, I expect the AU to stay out of it,” Makumbe explained.
He added: “He is trying to intimidate the AU so stay clear of the situation in Zimbabwe… I believe that African leaders will be strong and tough with him though.” [/restrict]