Business, Finance & Economics

Zimbabwe kicks out Libyan ambassador


Libyan embassy staff and Libyan nationals demonstrate outside the Libyan embassy in Harare on August 24, 2011. Libya's ambassador to Zimbabwe led a demonstration in which Libyans burned portraits of embattled leader Moammar Gaddafi and replaced Gaddafi's green flag with the old tricolor red, black and green flag from independence in 1951. The Mugabe government has ordered the deportation of the Libyan ambassador and others for these actions.


Jekesai Njikizana

Well at least Robert Mugabe is faithful to fellow dictators. He is sticking by deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi is be on the run in Libya and the Libyan rebels' Transitional National Council is consolidating its control over their country and meeting with European leaders. But that doesn't change Mugabe's support for Gaddafi.

The Mugabe regime is deporting Libya's ambassador to Harare and other embassy staff who announced they had defected from Gaddafi to the rebels' transitional council.

Mugabe had close relations with Gaddafi and has not recognized the rebels. His government announced it is expelling the Libyans and gave them a 72-hour deadline that expires Thursday. Libyan Ambassador Taher al-Megrahi said he and other Libyan embassy staff are leaving Zimbabwe later Thursday, reported Associated Press.

They are believed to be the first Libyan diplomats to be deported for defecting.

Zimbabwean officials acted after al-Megrahi led Libyan protesters who tore down and burned the old Libyan flag outside the embassy and hoisted the new rebel tricolor flag.

In fact, the Mugabe government said that Gaddafi is welcome to come to Zimbabwe for asylum.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said in parliament Wednesday that Gaddafi would be welcome in Zimbabwe to ensure a smooth transition in Libya. He denied rumors that Gaddafi is already in Zimbabwe, reported the Zimbabwean newspaper, NewsDay.