President Meets Ugandan Envoy (allAfrica.com)

President Mugabe yesterday met a special envoy sent by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to seek guidance from the African Union chairman on several issues.

Speaking after meeting President Mugabe at State House, Ugandan Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Major General Kahinda Otafiire said they had also discussed possible areas of co-operation.

“It was about mutual co-operation between Uganda and Zimbabwe, matters of COMESA trade and industry and possible co-operation as brotherly countries of Africa,” he said.

“And we are here to also seek guidance and wise leadership of the old man of the continent, President Mugabe.”

Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have failed to agree on the amount of money to pay each other as reparations of acts of armed aggression that violated the United Nations Charter and the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity, the predecessor of the African Union.

This is despite the conclusion on December 19, 2005 of a legal battle between the neighbouring countries, which started in 1999 at the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of United Nations.

DRC on June 23, 1999 instituted proceedings against Uganda over allegations of armed aggression.

Initially, the ICJ had ordered Uganda to pay the reparations for the five-year occupation of its eastern regions and the DRC wanted between $6 billion and $10 billion, a figure the former does not agree with.

Maj-Gen Otafiire said the two countries would try by all means to find each other and if President Mugabe wanted to mediate on the issue as AU chairman, he was free to assist.

“We are neighbours and we shall discuss and sort it out among ourselves,” he said.

“We cannot distance ourselves from each other. If he (President Mugabe) wants to come in and help, he can come and he is welcome.”

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