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Mugabe expected to take over as AU chair

Mugabe’s expected appointment is not a surprise but it has aroused mixed reactions.

FILE: Robert Mugabe. Picture: AFP.

ZIMBABWE - As the African Union (AU) holds its summit in Addis Ababa today, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is widely expected to take over as chairman of the continental body.

While critics question the wisdom of appointing Mugabe, his spokesperson says the 90-year old president will ensure Africa becomes a leader on the global stage.

Mugabe's expected appointment as AU chairman is not a surprise but it has aroused mixed reactions.

For the past 15 years he's been criticised by the United Kingdom, the United States and other Western countries over his rights record.

The Zimbabwean president's spokesman George Charamba told state television in that country that Mugabe is unhappy with the way the AU has, in his view, been bending its policies to suit the west.

He said the president wanted to change that and make the AU a leader on the global stage.

Critics of Mugabe say Africa will likely have to gage the west as the continent faces challenges like Boko Haram in Nigeria and Ebola in West Africa.