By Fortune Tazvida
Ministers in the United Kingdom are already taking advice on how to block Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe and his Libyan counterpart Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from attending the London 2012 Olympics.
A report in the UK Daily Telegraphs says the organizers of the games were forced to give Libya and Zimbabwe hundreds of tickets for the games. The move has infuriated government figures who are now seeking to ensure the dictators or any of their cronies do not come anywhere near the games.
It turns out much like the United Nations and the Vatican which are bracketed as neutral territories, Mugabe for example might be eligible to attend under the games under the Olympic rules. Already Gaddafi’s eldest son Muhammad, who heads the Libyan Olympic Committee, is reported to have received hundreds of tickets.
The UK Border Agency is still to clarify whether it will be forced to give people like Mugabe special “Olympic visas” introduced last month to make it easier for foreign officials, athletes and coaches to attend the Games. Additionally country teams are entitled to invite their heads of state.
Mugabe and selected members of his regime are subject to US, EU, Australian and New Zealand travel and financial restrictions. The measures were put in place in response to state sponsored human rights abuses that saw opposition activists, beaten, tortured, raped or killed by state security agents, youth militias and war vets. Several companies, whose income props up the regime are also sanctioned.