AllAfrica.com is reporting that President Robert Mugabe was in Italy on Tuesday for the inauguration mass for Pope Francis, bypassing a travel ban imposed by the European Union, which does not apply to the Vatican City state.
Mugabe, a devout Catholic, traveled to the holy city with his wife Grace, their children and several government officials, just days after a referendum to vote on a new Constitution for Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean leader is accused of human rights abuses by western governments which is the reason for the travel ban. In 2005, Prince Charles drew controversy in Britain when he shook hands with Mugabe at the funeral of Pope John Paul 11. The Prince’s aides claimed the heir to the throne had been caught by surprise when Mugabe offered his hand during the ceremony at the Vatican.
The president also attended the beatification of the Pope in 2011. Does Mugabe’s travel during this important time signal a greater devotion to the church than to his country?
Read more at AllAfrica.com.