Return home, Mugabe told

HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has savaged President Robert Mugabe for going on holiday at a time the country is faced with a serious economic crisis and a pressing challenge to align all laws with the new Constitution.

The Zimbabwe president left for the Far East on a scheduled holiday trip last Saturday, a local television station reported, amid growing tension over the flagging economy and failure to align statutes to the new Constitution.

Government and party officials said the president was entitled to his holiday.

George Charamba, the presidential spokesperson said Mugabe was expected back in Zimbabwe mid January.

In the meantime, Vice President Joice Mujuru is the acting President. Mugabe’s often month-long leave has crippled government operations. His opponents said the former teacher should not have left for a “luxurious” holiday at a time the country was mired in crisis.

Douglas Mwonzora,the MDC spokesperson, described Mugabe’s holiday as “immoral and abnormal.”

Citing a biting liquidity crunch, cash flight and unfulfilled constitutional requirements, Mwonzora said a serious president should have adopted a hands-on approach to deal with the country’s problems rather than go gallivanting on a holiday.

“The seriousness of the  situation calls for extraordinary remedies as it is of extreme emergency,” Mwonzora told the Daily News this week.

“In normal countries, this would see extraordinary meetings of the Cabinet to deal with the problems using a hands-on approach. Parliament should also be meeting to deal with the alignment of all laws with the Constitution as well as provide oversight to State institutions.”

Didymus Mutasa, Presidential Affairs minister, said Mugabe’s absence does not change anything as the ruling party was seized with resolving the economic challenges.

“Tell them (MDC) that they are insane, vanopenga (they are mad),” Mutasa told the Daily News.

Asked if Zanu PF appreciates the gravity of the problems confronting the country, Mutasa retorted: “That is what we are grappling with. Do you think the problems will get better because the president is  here or not?”

The MDC accused the veteran Zanu PF leader of abandoning his duties as the executive president.

“This holiday is a sign of clear negligence by the president,” Mwonzora said.

“He is the wielder of executive powers and he should have used his powers for the benefit of the people who are living in poverty.”

The MDC, which disputes results of last year’s July general elections won by Mugabe, is pushing for a snap election.

It contends that the Zanu PF leader is no longer physically fit to confront the rigours of presidency.

“The fact that the president leaves the country at such a time shows that he is no longer fit to meet the daily demands of his office”, Mwonzora said.

“The selection of (vice president Joice) Mujuru is a further indictment that there is no direction, because she has no power to convene Cabinet meetings.”

“Cabinet never sits in Mugabe’s absence.”

Comments (15)

Please journalists "do not look for comments from Didymus Mutasa" I repeat,"do not look for comments from Didymus Mutasa." He is an occupational hazard. Imagine the horror on the faces on many a scientist or Medical Students on being told that the brain they are using for research was donated by Didymus Mutasa.

Squarebasher - 5 January 2014

Mutasa is totally right to say the presence of the president will change nothing .The president is useless he has no clue on how to bring the collapsing economy back on its feet.Atually we do not need him at all and his absence is not felt infact he must go for good and we will never miss him.

Dibulaanyika - 5 January 2014

Indeed its abnormal and immoral Mr Mwonzora for a leader to be found travelling outside the country when the country is a quagmire,shame.As for Mutasa,its you anopenga,anotopenga ndiwe,urirombe remunhu chairo,bloody idiot,bastard.You are insane Didymus so stupid you are.

josefa chinotimba - 6 January 2014

Mr Mwonzora should stop making a fool of himself. The MDC-T does not recognize Bob as the legitimate president so whether he is in Zimbabwe or not should not worry them. Bob's competence cannot be seen by the naked eye and nobody cares about him!

Nyanisi Ruzengwe - 6 January 2014

Surely, if the %%#&*%$ is on leave, he does less damage to the economy than when he's home.

Mark - 6 January 2014

Zimbabweans, you are the weakest people on Earth. An Election gets stollen under your nose and you take no action: Shame. if it was SA Africa you would have seen. so suffer quietly!!!

Dumisani Zhou - 7 January 2014

Mugabe should actually not be on LEAVE. He should be on PENSION. And so is Mudhidhi Mutasa, damn Zanu PF idiots. Dumisani Zhou also sounds like a Zimbabwean name.

Misodzi - 8 January 2014

every man deserves a break(holiday), those who work know. let not hatred cloud your judgement.

Mthwakazian - 8 January 2014

I think a holiday for the man is good he gets some time to have face lifts and sorts, the economy can not be rigged so if he comes back he starts wer he left and now issue yemasalaries is awaiting him people from zanu can not make decisions in his absense so pliz siyai vatonge they clearly outsmarted all of us during elections

the patriot - 8 January 2014

Mugabe has always leave that is why the nation gets better, he should be replaced within or without. It is time - do not be his toys for ever.

DALMEE - 9 January 2014

Mugabe has always been on leave that is why the nation gets better, he should be replaced within or without. It is time - do not be his toys for ever.

DALMEE - 9 January 2014

Mugabe has always leave that is why the nation never gets better, he should be replaced within or without. It is time - do not be his toys for ever.

Dalmee - 9 January 2014

zanu pf ne mdc competition yemadofo we need a new political party not simba makoni, new players

harare - 9 January 2014

hahaha, mugabe this mugabe that, mashaya nyaya. When MDC president went galavanting nemahure ake across the caribeans noone commented. Tsvangson is always on holiday looking for vanhu vakuroora. Let the executive president of the republic of zimbabwe rest for crying out loud.

Mabvuku - 10 January 2014

Mugabe has been on leave for the past decade. It doesn't matter whether he is around or not, there's nothing he can offer apart from verbal attacks at young western leaders who are young enough to be his grand children. If zanu pf was a democratic party maybe they might have took advantage of his absents and do better. Nevertheless, they're all Mugabe's wives according to Margaret Dongo so they're waiting for their husband to come back with some relish for dinner.

Shepy Tarzy - 12 January 2014

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