ZIMBABWE’s president, Robert Mugabe has been named as chairman of the African Union.
Mugabe, popular for his role in Zimbabwe’s independence has increasingly been accused of human rights abuses and vote-rigging as his ZANU-PF party has clung on to power.
Mugabe was elected by his fellow heads of state during the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Friday.
He is subject to travel bans in the European Union and US.
The 90-year-old was given a rare invitation to an EU-Africa summit in Brussels last year, but boycotted it after his wife was refused a visa.
The continent’s longest serving leader is to replace Mauritania’s Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz in the role, which rotates between the continent’s five regions.
“By electing me to preside over this august body, with full knowledge of the onerous responsibility that lies ahead, I humbly accept your collective decision,’’ Mugabe said at the summit.