Mugabe opens 34th SADC summit

Robert Mugabe told delegates they should enjoy Victoria Falls and bungee jumping as an activity.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. AFP.

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has opened the 34th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government summit in Victoria Falls today as he takes over the chairmanship of the bloc.

This is a big triumph for the 90-year-old president, whose long time hold on power has been hit by allegations of human rights abuses.

Mugabe has told delegates they should enjoy Victoria Falls and has even mentioned bungee jumping as a possible activity.

Eight heads of state are at this summit, including President Jacob Zuma and the African Union commission chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has already spoken.

Many eyes will be on his wife Grace Mugabe, who's just been catapulted into frontline politics in Zimbabwe following her election as chair of the ruling party's women's league on Friday.

Rights groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change are unhappy that SADC hasn't taken notice of rights concerns in Zimbabwe and the ruling party's alleged failure to fully implement a new constitution.