US walks out of UN assembly after Mugabe speech

President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe addresses the UN General Assembly on September 26 2013 in New York City. (AFP)

President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe addresses the UN General Assembly on September 26 2013 in New York City. (AFP)

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe used his opportunity to speak at the 68th UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday to berate the United States and the UK for imposing "illegal and filthy sanctions" on Zimbabwe.

"Shame, shame, shame to the United States of America. Shame, shame, shame to Britain and its allies,"  Mugabe said.

He condemned the continuation of unilateral sanctions against his country and called it a violation of the UN Charter. He accused those imposing sanctions of "covetous bigotry" and a "hunger for domination".

The 89-year-old president vowed that Zimbabwe would never become a colony again. He condemned the US's rejection of recent Zim elections, stating that:

"This malicious intent to continue the relentless persecution of our small peaceful country has shown itself  again through the USA's rejection of the recent absolutely democratic and fair election results of our July 31st general elections."

Zimbabwe was forced this week to hand out maize imported from Zambia to  people who are vulnerable to starvation in the southern parts of the country.

The Mail & Guardian two weeks ago reported that the United Nations said in a report that more than 2.2-million people in half of Zimbabwe's 10 political provinces are facing a famine.

Zimbabwe's strategic grain reserve parastatal, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which is charged with grain procurement and securing reserves, is in serious trouble because its silos are nearly empty.

Zimbabwe's Agriculture Minister Joseph Made admitted that the 3 400 tonnes of grain the government bought from Zambia earlier this year was inadequate.

However, he was quick to say that no one would starve because the government had "sound plans" to avert serious food shortages. He also said the GMB was on top of the situation. 

A previous version of this story carried a video that was from a year ago. We apologise for the error.

 
Grethe Koen

Grethe Koen

Grethe Koen has an Honours degree in political science and worked at an organisation for prisoners’ human rights before joining the Mail & Guardian online team as a sub-editor. When she’s not replacing commas with full-stops and taking out pesky html coding she likes writing about music, gender issues and whatever is trending on Twitter. Read more from Grethe Koen

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