Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe has been confined within a 25-mile radius due to travel sanctions imposed on him by America for allegedly human rights violations.
Mugabe and his entourage arrived in New York on Wednesday ahead of the United Nations International Ebola Recovery Conference on Friday but was told not to stray beyond a 25-mile radius of New York during United Nations meeting.
Under the sanctions, which Mugabe blames for the country’s economic problems, the veteran leader is barred from travelling to the US and other Western countries but can attend meetings of the UN.
However, this week the US reminded Mugabe and his delegation which also included Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi,First Lady Grace Mugabe, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa to remain within a prescribed radius of New York.
“I hereby determine it to be reasonably necessary to restrict the domestic travel of the representatives of Zimbabwe named below, as well as the named family members to a radius of 25 miles from the Columbus Circle in New York when such persons travel to New York for the Conference on Ebola at United Nations General Assembly,” said US Under Secretary for Management Patrick F Kennedy.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner, Public Information ( DCPI) confirmed the development.
Mugabe, chairs both the African Union and Southern African Development Community.
Mugabe was invited by the UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon, as leader of the African continent, to attend a high level International Ebola Recovery Conference to be held at the UN headquarters.
Heads of state from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three most affected countries, have also been invited to the two-day conference, where the AU, the UN as well as several monetary institutions are expected to deliberate and come up with a recovery road map to assist the affected countries.
The Ebola haemorrhagic disease has a very high fatality rate such that countries that were affected by the deadly epidemic diverted resources from other sectors and channeled them towards the fight against the disease.
The International Ebola Recovery Conference is therefore expected to deliberate on how affected countries in particular and the West African region in general, can be supported financially as well as technically for them to be able to overcome the socio economic burden emanating from the effects of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which is the largest in history.
At the peak of the epidemic in 2014, the AU launched several continental efforts to respond and fight the disease.
Funds raised under the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust and resources mobilised under the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa have gone a long way in helping affected countries to curb the further spread of the disease.
As a result, Liberia has been declared Ebola free from the 9th of May 2015, while the situation in Guinea and Sierra Leone is also improving with strong projections that by next month, the two remaining countries will also be declared Ebola free.
A country is certified free of Ebola by the World Health Organisation (WHO) when it went for 42 days without registering a new case.