Mugabe heads back to Far East

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is heading back to the Far East — and specifically to Japan — as the country’s economy and his Zanu PF party continue to implode.

The trip, based on the need to boost bilateral investment and economic cooperation deals, comes as the ‘high-riding’ nonagenarian has just taken a savage political beating over his trip to India for a low-key cultural event recently.

Mugabe, who maintains a punishing global schedule for a 92-year-old, is expected to hold talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito.

“...the president and his spouse will make a State call on their majesties the emperor and empress of Japan, and their majesties the emperor and empress will host a court luncheon (for) the president and his spouse,” the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

“The government of Japan sincerely welcomes the visit...and hopes that this visit will further strengthen the friendly relations between Japan, and the Republic of Zimbabwe.”

Born in 1933, Akihito was heir to Emperor Hirohito, in whose name Japan fought World War Two. His heir is Crown Prince Naruhito, age 56.

Akihito was also the first royal heir to marry a commoner, Empress Michiko, now 81, and his efforts to draw the imperial family closer to the people in image, if not in fact, played into a carefully crafted picture of a “middle-class monarchy” that has helped shield it from the harsh criticism suffered by flashier royals abroad.

In his last trip to Tokyo, Mugabe’s inclusion of his daughter Bona in official proceedings created a storm, which critics said was based on her presence given that she is not a State official.

Still, the Zanu PF leader’s frequent travels have angered many Zimbabweans for their economic impact on the country and the New Delhi trip was flayed as one of those excursions to waste taxpayers’ money, political opponents said.

Apart from rounding up on him over the botched trip, observers called on the increasingly frail nonagenarian to quit for his own good, his family and the nation.

In particular, Zimbabweans are miffed about the cost of these trips and where the globetrotting Mugabe often travels with tens of hangers on and State officials.

With a penchant for foreign travel, the 92-year-old leader’s recent trip have, however, not been that rosy and smooth-sailing after a series of health, and age-linked gaffes, and challenges.

As it is, Mugabe was forced to abandon his much-criticised junket to India, which was even snubbed by supposed host Pranab Mukherjee and several other world leaders.


    Comments (10)

    The problem with these trips is that they are so directionless, the serve no purpose whatsover. Also why does he have to go himself. Why can't he send a minister for example?

    Inyika - 18 March 2016

    Mugabe nyika yamuremera. A day in Zim is all just misery! hapana chiri kufamba besides mukadzi wake kushaudha vamwe kunge pfambi yemudunhu.

    Peter Kufatinobereka - 18 March 2016

    If this old man`s foreign trips purported to bring foreign investments to Zimbabwe were anything at all then the country could be suffering frm over-investment. But its the opposite. So one wonders what lies in the coconut of this old chandagwinyira. Ndakambozvitaura: gore rechinoti godi kwamupfiganebwe ndipo patinoti pepu kuona a-aa hinga tanga tichitongwa nechipoko.

    Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 18 March 2016

    I suspect that this madala is looking for better doctors in Japan bcoz they is no sane Japanese who can want to invest in a country were they is no rule of law which means someone can just take over your company any time like what is happening to some diamond companies right now .

    Diibulaanyika - 18 March 2016

    A person who is not comfortable staying at his home is disorganised and his home is never a good place to stay. Hence he finds joy in other people's organised homes. Cry the beloved country (sic)

    Ziziharinanyanga - 18 March 2016

    What is the use of embassies dotted around the world's capitals? Some of these issues could be tackled successfully by the ministry concerned in collaboration with the captains of industry.The problem with the current set up is that these trips are sources of income for the blue eyed boys and have nothing to do with the up liftment of the country's economy through industrialisation.

    Gen Spinola - 18 March 2016

    I hope he stays there.

    Chidza Chepo - 18 March 2016

    mdara uyu rava dzvatsvatsva chairo. zvaakusvota izvi

    toti - 18 March 2016

    Mugabe I mbwendede chaiyo koarikuenda kunotsvsgei uko, tanetanemarwendo ake aya kuti asingachadi zvemuno ngaabve aenda kunogaraikweyo coz kuno tatogara tisingachamudiwo.

    mean - 19 March 2016

    The problem with mugabe is he goes hunting around the world with salt and matches in his pockets. Chabuda hapana

    X-MAN IV - 19 March 2016

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