Mugabe must limit foreign travel

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s penchant for globe-trotting has reflected very badly on how the Zanu PF government sets its priorities. The president, who only returned to the country on January 21 from a prolonged annual leave in the Far East, has to date embarked on at least seven foreign trips this year.

Mugabe flew out of Zimbabwe to attend the little-known Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai city, Japan on March 10, at a time when tension was building in the country over the worsening economic situation. Soon after returning from Japan last Thursday, Mugabe on Friday flew out again, this time to Namibia for the inauguration of  president Hage Geingob. Reports indicate he might fly to Algeria in the next few days.

Ironically, Geingob is Namibia’s fourth president since that country’s attainment of independence in 1994. Mugabe has been in power since 1980, when Zimbabwe got its independence from Britain.

On the sidelines of the Sendai conference, Mugabe discussed bilateral relations between the Asian economic giant and Zimbabwe, including the rest of Africa. What makes us get worried is whether the president still has time to attend to the many problems affecting his party — Zanu PF — and the country at large.

Soon after the president left for Japan, political activist Itai Dzamara was abducted by yet-to-be-identified people at a barber shop in Glen View, Harare.

This invited widespread condemnation from opposition political parties, human rights and civil society groups, who felt the State had something to do with the abduction. MDC youths demonstrated in central Harare, demanding the political activists’ release.

Mugabe’s own party, Zanu PF is on the verge of splitting following purges that targeted perceived allies of former vice president Joice Mujuru. Party heavyweights have been squabbling since the December 2013 Zanu PF congress without a break. That precious time could have been used profitably.

Students at the University of Zimbabwe went on strike in solidarity with lecturers and non-academic staff at the institution of higher learning who downed tools, along with their counterparts in other State universities, over non-payment of their salary arrears and 2013 bonuses.

Inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare went on a rampage over food and other conditions at the correctional facility. The chaos led to the death of five prisoners.

All these are testimony of mounting tension in the country as the population gets more and more restive.

We question how the president can afford to globe-trot while the country is burning. We tend to feel that the travel is too much for the president, given his age.

Comments (1)

I hope Mugabe will book his ticket in time for the, "One way trip to MARS" He is the oldest president and can represent "EARTH" as the head of delegation for that mission.Thats a trip not to miss for Mugabe who loves to travel. If his money is not enough, I am sure concerned citizens will help foot his trip bills.

X-MAN IV - 23 March 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.