General News of Saturday, 31 January 2015
President Robert Mugabe represents the quintessence of African heroism, afrocentric Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jr has said.
Pratt argues that the 90-year-old Zimbabwean leader, played a pivotal role in liberating Africa from the grips of the West and deserves plaudits rather than crucifixion.
“Mugabe is an African hero,” Pratt insisted, adding: “He is a shining example of people who led in the fight against colonialism.”
“All the people who are criticising him have not made half of the sacrifice Mugabe has made for his country,” Mr Pratt asserted.
There have widespread criticisms against Mugabe’s appointment as Chairman of the 54-nation African Union (AU) from both within and outside Africa.
“Frankly I don’t believe the elevation (Mugabe’s appointment) is anything than symbolic,” said Piers Pigou, Southern Africa project director for the International Crisis Group. “His elevation sends a negative signal of African solidarity with leaders who’ve misruled their countries.”
The West has also ceaselessly branded Mugabe a dictator and vindictive leader.
But Pratt has said Africa has made its choice and the West should “deal with it.”
Friday’s announcement was made during the African Union’s two-day heads of state summit at the organisation’s headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
Mugabe, who has ruled his country since 1980, succeeds Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
“During my tenure as chair,” Mugabe said, “I will deliberately provoke your thoughts to pay special attention to issues of infrastructure, value addition, agriculture and climate change”.