Home > News > World
Sunday August 17, 2014 MYT 9:10:04 PM
Sunday August 17, 2014 MYT 9:11:12 PM
by cris chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Sunday urged southern Africa to reduce its dependence on foreign aid and to make better use of its natural resources such as minerals and land.
Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader and one of its longest-serving, was speaking at the opening of a two-day summit of the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls tourist resort.
"Our continued over-reliance on the goodwill of our co-operation partners compromises our ownership of SADC," he told the meeting.
"Our region has abundant resources which instead of being sold in raw form at very low prices must be exploited ... to add value to the products which we export," he said.
Mugabe, 90, was most recently re-elected over a year ago. He has consistently denied charges by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that his ZANU-PF party has used violence and vote-rigging to stay in power since 2000.
SADC has been bogged down in mediating these electoral disputes in Zimbabwe for the last decade.
Days before the summit, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights said SADC's credibility was at stake if the bloc did not address human rights violations among its members, including arrests of political activists and journalists.
The groups cited Angola, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia as having committed human rights violations. Mugabe did not address the allegations in his speech.
Critics say Mugabe's regional standing has been undermined by a long-running economic crisis in Zimbabwe, which they partly blame on his seizures and redistribution of white-owned commercial farms to landless people among the black population.
(Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng and Raissa Kasolowsky)
Africa and West at odds over disputed Zimbabwe election
Africa must work harder to reduce inequality - Annan
Beyond Blackwater: Prince looks to resources in Africa
Mugabe faces growing fallout after disputed poll win
Southern African leaders back re-election of Zimbabwe's Mugabe
Three priests and layman charged in Spanish sexual abuse case
Ukraine puts on parliamentary show of unity in message to Russia
Iran Supreme Leader says not opposed to extension of nuclear talks
Prince William to make first UK royal visit to China in 30 years
British detective writer P. D. James dies, aged 94
Hong Kong student leaders banned from Mong Kok protest site
Do-or-die situation for Terengganu
E-cigarettes have up to 10 times more carcinogens than regular smokes, say Japanese researchers
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)