As Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe handed over the reins of African Union chairmanship to Chad’s President Idriss Deby on Saturday, he ranted for an hour against whites, former colonists, Westerners, U.S. President Barack Obama and the United Nations.
What was set to be a ten minute speech ended up lasting around an hour instead, with the Zimbabwean president rambling and ranting, while receiving a standing ovation from his peers at the African Union summit.
While the main topic at the African Union summit held Saturday in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia was the critical situation in Burundi, it seems Robert Mugabe had his own agenda.
Despite rumors of his death that did the rounds during his recent vacation in Asia, there wasn’t much wrong with Mugabe as he gave his rousing speech, making UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon squirm in his seat as he spoke out against the UN. Mugabe told the gathered audience at the African Union summit that Africa would walk out of the UN unless it was given permanent representation on the UN Security Council.
Mugabe said, “We have asked and asked and asked for security council reform,” adding Africans are tired of making “hollow speeches” at the UN with no results.
— Press TV (@PressTV) January 31, 2016
According to Mugabe, only those with white skins were the real members of the UN and that Africans were not and he said if the UN is to survive, “we, Africa must be equal members of the United Nations,” if not one day they would decide “down with the UN” and walk out.
As reported by the Independent, Robert Mugabe did say that Ban Ki-moon is a good man, but he said Africans “can’t make him a fighter.”
“That’s not what your mission was. But we shall fight for our own identity and personality as Africans.”
Imploring Ban to tell the UN that Africans also belong to the world, Mugabe said they “are also human, not ghosts.”
According to Mugabe, the UN’s headquarters “is misplaced” and should not be in New York, but should be represented in a more populous country, such as China, India or even in Africa.
However, as can be heard in the video above, Mugabe said Africans and others are forced to travel to New York and sit there with the “white faces and pink noses next to us – yet how many are they compared to us?”
Mugabe did thank Ban for his efforts in Africa in the fight against Ebola.
Speaking of U.S. President Barack Obama, Mugabe said he is a “puppet of the whites.” He went on to berate whites for the slaving situation, and for “dragging Africans across the ocean” saying those blacks might now seem free – particularly Obama – but they are not.
“But what is he? A voice made to speak their language, to act their act and not our act. They are still superious.”
According to Mugabe, black people in America were still considered to be inferior, living in places like Harlem in New York and suffering from poor education and health care facilities. He talked of how black people are being shot in the streets, “and nobody seems to talk about it, but today instead they still want to talk about us.”
Mugabe drew huge applause from the audience when he stated that even after colonialism, former colonists are still all over Africa, saying, “if not physically, then through NGOs.” He reckoned they are also in Africa as “spies and pretenders.” Mugabe said while some say they are in Africa to help them, even in armed groups in African territories, they are still having an effect on regime change.
Mugabe’s speech continued with many reminiscences about the “liberation struggle” in Africa and closed when he finally handed over the chairmanship of the African Union to Chad’s President Idriss Deby, reportedly giving him a mock bang on the head with the chairperson’s gavel as he did so. Mugabe spoke to Deby, saying he will still be around if he wanted to call on him in any way.
“I will still be there – until God says come to join the other angels.”
Before he returned to his seat in the auditorium, Robert Mugabe raised his fist twice in a black power salute to huge applause.
According to the Independent, Mugabe received a standing ovation from those African countries present at the African Union summit with only South African President Jacob Zuma pulling back a little in the ovation. Reportedly Zuma only rose slowly to his feet after almost everyone else in the auditorium had risen.
As reported by The Star, Ban Ki-moon spoke out at the African Union summit against African leaders who cling to power, saying those leaders should not use legal loopholes or undemocratic constitutional changes to “cling to power” and that they should respect term limits.
This statement could have been aimed directly at the Zimbabwean President himself as Robert Mugabe, who turns 91 in February, has been president of Zimbabwe since December 22, 1987.
[Photo by AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene]