PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has called off his engagement in India where he was scheduled to be guest of honour at the World Culture Festival.
The event, which is a celebration of peace in multiculturalism and ecumenicity, was scheduled to begin today in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
President Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, yesterday said the cancellation of his attendance was due to poor security arrangements by the event organisers.
“The cancellation follows communication from organisers of the festival acknowledging substantial inadequacies in protocol and security arrangements around the event,” he said.
Charamba said several world leaders slotted for participation, including those from India, also withdrew their participation.
President Mugabe – who travelled with Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and other senior government officials — is expected back home in a few days.
He left for India on Tuesday to attend the festival, leaving Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Acting President.
Several world leaders had been invited, with some scheduled to address thousands of people from various countries, religions and cultures.
Top musical and arts groups were also billed to spice things up with performances that depict cultural diversity.
The event is organised by The Art of Living, an educational and humanitarian organisation that promotes peace via conflict resolution, disaster relief, education for all, sustainable rural development, women empowerment, environmental sustainability and prisoner rehabilitation.