President Robert Mugabe told delegates at #WEFAfrica2017 that Zimbabwe was well resourced. Picture: Independent Media

DURBAN -  Zimbabwe is not a fragile state, nor is it poor, but a well-resourced country, President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday on the second day of the World Economic Forum Africa in Durban.

“We are not a poor country and we can't be a fragile country, I can call America fragile, they went with their knees to China,” he said.

Speaking at the session themed Eye on Africa's Failing States, the statesman said the Southern African country had 14 universities and literacy rate at over 90 per cent.

However, Oxfam's executive director Winnie Byanyima, in a veiled rebuke at Mugabe, said the problem is that African leaders were dictatorial.

"Our leaders say we rich, they say we are developed, they say we have resources but the people do not see that .They clamp down on freedom of the media and the rights of people," she said. Byanyima said communities with strong governance structures at a local level could not be fooled by gun-yielding leaders ruling societies with weak institutions who spoke on the radio from the capital.

In Byanyima's parting shot to Mugabe, who appeared to have fallen asleep during the session, she said: " Let us give others a chance, it is important that we have elections that are free and fair - that reflect the will of the people, that is at the heart of governance".

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