Wednesday, 28 September 2016

INDIA TELLS MUGABE : WE ARE STAYING IN THE UN

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will not get India’s support in his audacious bid to pull out of the United Nations and form a new global organisation.

Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui, told journalists at a Press briefing yesterday that the world’s biggest democracy would continue to push for reforms of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from within.

Mugabe told Zanu PF supporters gathered at Harare International Airport on arrival from the UN General Assembly meeting last week that African countries, with the support of India, China and Russia, would back the move to pull out and form a rival global body.

However, Masakui seemed to dismiss Mugabe’s utterances as nothing short of political grandstanding by the 92-year-old Zimbabwean leader.

“He did not raise these issues at the United Nations General Assembly, but on arrival at the airport. We would not want to comment on this issue that much,” Masakui said.

Probed on whether in principle, India would support the idea of a walk-out from the UN, Masakui said his country would continue to call for reform of the UNSC from within the structures of the UN.

“India has been pushing for reforms of the UN and expansion of the UNSC for a long time now. We are happy that African countries are now demanding for two permanent seats at the Security Council.

“We will continue to fight for reform of the UN from within,” Masakui added.

The Indian envoy said businesses from his country would continue to watch developments in Zimbabwe, but would keep a close eye.

“Some are uneasy, but there are others like Pepsi, who are willing to invest and have already started a $30 million plant. I have talked to some commerce groups who feel the situation is not that good, but my mandate is to tell them it is not as bad. We want them to keep at the door and when there is a policy shift, we will jump in,” Masakui said.

Some so-called “mega-deals” signed between Mugabe and the Indians last year hang in the balance, with Masakui saying: “They will be implemented, but we are waiting for some technicalities.”

In 2003, Mugabe shocked the world after he pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth of former British colonies, following accusations he had rigged the 2002 poll and bludgeoned his political opponents into submission. newsday

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