FARAI MUTSAKA, Associated Press Tues, Feb 21 8:02 AM PST
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy has an admirer in Zimbabwe’s longtime president, who says the policy resonates with his own thinking.
President Robert Mugabe, who turned 93 on Tuesday and is the world’s oldest head of state, spoke in a birthday interview with state-run media.
“When it comes to Donald Trump, on the one hand talking of American nationalism, well, America for America, America for Americans — on that we agree. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans,” he said.
Mugabe has previously defended Trump, even saying he didn’t want Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to win last year’s election. He also said he hoped Trump’s administration would remove sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe more than a decade ago over alleged human rights abuses and electoral irregularities.
But Mugabe questioned Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. “It appears quite nasty. I don’t know how the Mexicans will take it. I thought the Americans once loved Mexico,” he said. “I don’t know. Give him time. He might come up with better policies.”
A large birthday celebration is scheduled for Saturday in tribute to Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980 and vows to stand again in elections next year.
In the interview with state media, Mugabe also described his wife Grace, an increasingly political figure, as “fireworks” because of her feisty remarks in his defense.