Genf - Die Reden, die am Genfer UN-Gipfel zur Informationstechnologie geschwungen wurden, waren alles andere als spannend. Insofern bildete Simbabwes Präsident Robert Mugabe eine löbliche Ausnahme. Denn Mugabe nützte diesen Auftritt auf einer internationalen Bühne für eine Replik auf die Kritik an ihm. Beispielsweise bezeichnete er den Commonwealth, der ihn scharf kritisiert hatte, nachdem er seinen Austritt erklärt hatte, als

Mr Mugabe used the meeting to respond to criticisms of him led by Britain at the Commonwealth summit, when Zimbabwe withdrew from the organisation.

His speech stood out from the mostly bland interventions of other world leaders at this internet summit.

They generalised about the great potential of internet technology and the need to spread these advantages to the developing world.

Vintage Mugabe

Mr Mugabe, by contrast, said there could be no just information society without more social equality.

The IMF has started "compulsory withdrawal procedures" over Zimbabwe's failure to pay its arrears. These amount to $273m.

According to IMF figures, the Zimbabwe economy contracted by 40% between 1999 and 2003 and inflation in October this year was at 526%.

The Commonwealth decision may also embolden the European Union to tighten up its sanctions. These include restrictions on travel to the EU by leading figures in the Zimbabwe government, though France caused a stir when it permitted Mr Mugabe to attend an African conference nonetheless