PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is now in Sudan for Tuesday’s inauguration of President Omer Hassan al-Bashir after his security team twice failed to protect him from embarrassment in Nigeria.
The Zimbabwean leader arrived in Khartoum from Equatorial Guinea after he was humiliated by Nigerian reporters while attending another presidential inauguration there last Friday.
The ambush by journalists who hectored and badgered him over his lengthy stay in power, asking when Zimbabweans might invite the world to witness a change of leadership in Harare probably forced Mugabe to leave Nigeria for Equatorial Guinea where he spent the weekend before flying to Khartoum on Monday.
The veteran leader’s security team, led by CIO boss Happyton Bonyongwe who could be seen in front of Mugabe in video footage of the incident, will likely have questions to answer after twice failing to protect Mugabe from the daring journalists.
The reporters first pounced as Mugabe arrived for President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration and were able to harangue him again as he left the event, suggesting the security team had not anticipated they might return.
Commenting on the incident on its website, Sahara Reporters said: “Our reporter first had a quick one-on-one conversation with Mugabe upon arrival in his car at the Eagle Square venue of the inauguration event, but that encounter didn’t last long as his aides hurriedly took him down from his car to take a seat at the event.
“Again, our crew encountered Mugabe as he made to leave after the event. We followed him and pressed for an interview with Mr. Mugabe to ask him if he has any plans to step down from power and allow real democratic elections in his country.”
However, information minister Jonathan Moy absolved Bonyongwe and his team of blame.
“The responsibility of protecting the President there squarely fell on the shoulders of Nigerian authorities. Our guys did a sterling job.
“That was a VVIP area and the question is who let those would-be Nollywood actors there?”
Media Commission chairperson, Tafataona Mahoso, also appeared to blame Nigerian authorities for the incident.
“You must remember that it was in Nigeria that the DailyNews published a special addition when Olusegun Obasanjo (former Nigerian President) collaborated with John Howard (former Australian Prime Minister) to have Zimbabwe expelled from the Commonwealth,” Mahoso told state media Monday.
“It was also Nigeria which betrayed Charles Taylor (former Liberian President) when they collaborated with the ICC to have him sent to The Hague.
“The same Nigeria is the one that together with South Africa supported a UN resolution for the bombardment and invasion of Libya.”