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Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe given Chinese peace prize

AWARDED: Robert Mugabe

CHINA HAS has bestowed its version of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Confucius Peace Prize, on Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who has been labelled a violent dictator.

The chairman of the award committee defended the decision to honour Mugabe, saying he was chosen for “injecting fresh energy” into the global quest for harmony, The Guardian reported.

“Ever since Robert Mugabe was sworn in as the president of Zimbabwe in the 1980s, he has worked hard to bring political and economic order to the country and to improve the welfare of the Zimbabwean people by overcoming hardship,” the prize committee argued in a statement.

Both the US and the EU have imposed sanctions on Mugabe and members of his family and inner circle over his human rights abuses, The Washington Post reported.

He has been accused of using systematic violence and torture to maintain his 35-year grip on power in Zimbabwe and has forced an estimated 700,000 people out of their homes.

But the award committee praised Mugabe’s stewardship of the 54-state African Union after he became chairman earlier this year.

The Beijing-run Global Times newspaper said the 91-year-old, had beaten off competition from candidates including the Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, and the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye.

News of the award has sparked outrage among opposition groups in Zimbabwe and human rights activists.

“The rule of Mugabe is paved with blood, violence, arson and cruelty,” Gorden Moyo, the secretary general of the People’s Democratic party, claimed on the Bulawayo 24 news website.

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