President Mugabe receives standing ovation at SADC summit

Harare. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe received a standing ovation at Saturday’s opening of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Summit held in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe.

Harare. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe received a standing ovation at Saturday’s opening of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Summit held in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe.

At the same meeting, Mr Mugabe also apologised to a member of South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team whom he once labelled a ‘street woman.’

Mr Mugabe’s applause came during introductions of the heads of state and government and other delegates at the summit over the weekend.

When SADC director of communications Charles Mubita introduced the Zimbabwean president to the jam-packed Bingu International Conference Centre Hall at the opening of the summit, delegates and the entire audience gave him a standing ovation, clapping and ululating.

An excited Mugabe stood up and waved to the delegates and sat down. But when the clapping continued, the Zimbabwean leader had to stand again and he made his famous “fist up” gesture, driving the audience’s excitement to the brim.

Mr Mugabe, who recently got elected with over 60 per cent of the vote, told journalists on Saturday upon arrival at the Kamuzu International Airport that he is an African and that he had nothing to do with the West. “I have nothing to do with the British, I have nothing to do with the Americans,” said the 89-year-old Zimbabwean leader. “We make our decisions as African people, and those are the decisions we go by.”

Mr Mugabe further accused the West of wanting to think for Africans, and tell them which direction to take. But he said what Africans decide to take as the right direction is always the right direction for them and not for the West. “I am Robert Mugabe, a Zimbabwean, and African,” said the adamant African leader, whose country the West continues to put on sanctions.

While apologising to Ms Lindiwe Zulu, the 89-year-old leader had to kiss her, in front of fellow bemused Heads of States and government.

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