Zimbabwe: Mugabe Protests Over Way His Close Ally Gaddafi Was Killed

Kitsepile Nyathi

24 October 2011

Harare — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe had serious differences with the slain Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi but it also against the way he was eliminated, the veteran ruler has said.

Col Gaddafi was killed on Thursday weeks after his 42 year old administration collapsed under the weight of Nato led airstrikes and a rebel insurgency.

President Mugabe had always been considered an ally of the late Libyan leader and is one of the few African leaders who strongly criticised Nato’s involvement in the North African country’s civil war.

Serious differences

“There were serious differences, founded on principle, between President Mugabe and Col Gaddafi,” the president’s spokesmen Mr George Charamba told the state owned Mail newspaper.

“President Mugabe did not agree with Col Gaddafi when he opened his system to the West from the military to the economy, in the name of rapprochement.”

He said the Zimbabwean ruler himself in power since 1980 and accused of committing atrocities against his own people also did not agree with the eccentric Libyan leader’s concept of a United States of Africa.

Mr Charamba said Nato lacked the moral right to intervene in Libya even when Col Gaddafi’s regime was threatening to use strong arm tactics to crush the uprising.

However, the president’s spokesman credited Col Gaddafi for playing a crucial rule in Zimbabwe’s fight for independence from colonial rule.

“The relationship between Zimbabwe and Libya dates back to and is rooted in the days of the liberation struggle when thousands of Zimbabwean liberation war fighters went to the African country for military training,” Mr Charamba added.

“Even the integration of the army at independence in 1980 was aided by Libya. We have very senior officers in government who went to that country for further training.”

Col Gaddafi was also one of the few supporters of President Mugabe’s often violent seizure of white owned farms.

Zimbabwe has refused to recognise Libya’s National Transitional Council government.

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