For the past two weeks, the media has been full of Mugabe and Zimbabwe because the old dictator was invited to attend the European Union (EU) Summit with Africa.  The invitation was issued despite Mugabe being banned from travel to the EU way back in 2002 for his disgraceful record on Human Rights.  In a fit of despair, Britain’s Archbishop of York, John Sentamu (himself a black African, and the second most senior Anglican in Britain) cut his “dog collar” into pieces on BBC television.  Even US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice had her say – albeit at another venue.  Pretty much everyone is unhappy with old Mugabe – everyone that is except his fellow African leaders.
As expected, Mugabe used the occasion to grandstand and rail against his “enemies”, the UK and USA.  Not only them though – Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel got the rough end of his tongue, and that of Zimbabwe’s information minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who accused Merkel of being a “Nazi Remnant”.
So who benefited from the EU-Africa Circus?  Certainly not the Zimbabwean people who are still starving in a country that was once “the breadbasket of Africa”.  But Mugabe and his youthful wife, Grace (both banned from the EU) got to travel in style to the EU.  Mrs Mugabe is a great shopper, and probably enjoyed the outing.  Dictator Mugabe is a grandstander and fancies himself as a world leader, so he certainly enjoyed the outing.  Fellow African leaders had very little to say on the subject of Zimbabwe, except to tell the EU that Zimbabwe was African business, and it was not for the EU to interfere.
Why did the EU invite Mugabe to their summit with Africa?  Because no other African states would attend unless Mugabe was invited.  Why did the EU want a summit with Africa?  Because they’re worried about China’s growing trade and influence with Africa.  Why is China being so successful in Africa?  Because Africa is brim full of critically important natural resources that China needs – and because China doesn’t interfere with African Government.  Not yet, anyway.  The same is happening between China and Iran.
There’s a lesson in all this for Western States; “democracy” and “human rights” do not work in Africa.  But that’s old hat and I could have told anyone who would listen that was the case forty years ago.  More importantly, “democracy” and “human rights” do not work in Islamic States.  Just look at Palestine, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran.  That is what our western governments should take note of.  We should leave them alone unless they are a direct threat to us or our economic interests.  We should not try to dictate their form of government.  If the West interferes, we will lose out to China and resurgent Russia.  Democracy is an expensive luxury for the West.  I wish my readers a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.  May God help the Zimbabwe people.


Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email

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