New Delhi: In another blow to spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living (AoL) event, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has pulled out of the event after organisers acknowledged shortcomings in security arrangements.
According to the Zimbabwe Newsday, the 92-year-old leader, who left Harare for New Delhi on Monday to attend the festival, has returned home.
The three-day World Culture Festival is scheduled to begin on March 11.
Mugabe was “forced to abandon his dodgy visit” for the cultural event amid reports that he was “shocked to discover he was the only head of state and government in attendance”, the report said.
“President Robert Mugabe has called off his engagement in India where he was scheduled (to be) the guest of honour at the world culture festival,” the state-controlled ZBC TV reported.
“In a statement to the ZBC news, presidential spokesperson Cde George Charamba said the cancellation follows communication from the organisers of the festival acknowledging substantial inadequacies in protocol and security arrangements around the event,” the channel reported.
“A number of leaders slotted for participation, including those from the host country, have also withdrawn their participation. The President is expected home in the country in a couple of days.”
This is not the first controversy borne out of the festival organised by the Art of Living foundation. The event has come under fire over its venue too.