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Mugabe a 'disappointing choice as AU chair'

The longtime Zimbabwean leader was elected to head the continental body at a summit on Friday.

FILE: President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe attends the opening session of the 2nd UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries at the United Nations in Vienna on 3 November, 2014. Picture: AFP

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth says it's disappointing that the African Union (AU) has chosen Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugab e to be its new chairman.

The longtime Zimbabwean leader was elected to head the continental body at a summit on Friday but his appointment hasn't been without controversy.

Roth has called President Robert Mugabe autocratic.

He said in a tweet that it was disappointing that the AU couldn't find a more appropriate chairman.

Back home, a ruling party spokesman says the president's appointment is proof that Africa completely and absolutely adores Mugabe.

Zanu-PF views this appointment as a triumph and a fitting recognition of Mugabe's long rule.

The private press may be less congratulatory but there's still a certain amount of bemusement here at the amount of negative comment Mugabe's appointment has provoked.

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