ROBERT Mugabe managed to shake hands with the new Pope yesterday despite an EU travel ban.

The Zimbabwean President and his wife, Grace, greeted Pope Francis in the reception line in St Peter's Basilica in Rome after watching the Argentine pontiff being installed during an open-air mass at the Vatican.

The encounter came as referendum results in Zimbabwe showed that 94.5 per cent of voters backed a new constitution that will strengthen human rights and curb presidential powers.