Mugabe, top brass ‘desert’ Zim for holidays


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his top brass — including Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and several Cabinet ministers — took time off to spend lavishly and make merry in various resorts in Africa and the Far East over the just-ended festive season while the economy continued to sneeze.


As per his tradition, Mugabe and his family travelled to the Far East last month for the President’s annual recess.

According to pictures circulating on social media platforms, the First Family was last week joined by Mnangagwa and his wife Auxillia in some resort place believed to be in the Far East.


Mnangagwa later flew back to take over as Acting President yesterday and apparently allow Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who has since gobbled $250 000 in hotel stay since his appointment in 2014, to take leave.

It was not clear yesterday whether Mphoko would as well join Mugabe in the Far East.

Contacted over Mnangagwa’s merry-making against the background of a comatose economy, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba last Friday said: “What is the newsworthiness of a VP going on leave?”

But political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said it was a shame that government leaders chose to flee domestic problems back home to wine and dine on foreign soil at a time most civil servants had not yet received their December salaries.

“The pictures speak for themselves. They go to other countries to celebrate somewhere other than their country, where they have left hell,” Mandaza said.

Another top government official who flew out for a holiday is Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, who went for what he said was a “traditional Christmas family holiday” at the Dubai Global Village in the United Arab Emirates.


Mzembi defended his holidaying, saying his conscience was clear after making sure that people in his constituency were “safe food-wise”.

“For the record, I personally sourced 145 tonnes of maize for my constituency and distributed it before Christmas. This is in addition to 30 tonnes maize meal and 15 tonnes of rice where I gave 10kg each to 4 000 women. I will be repeating this every quarter period. My conscience as I was holidaying was very clean, so I had a good time,” Mzembi wrote on his Facebook page.

Mzembi had a picture taken while at the Global Village, which is Dubai’s leading family entertainment and cultural attraction, that offers unique shopping experience through its 31 pavilions, each representing a different country.

Several other ministers were said to be in China for holidays and these include Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri and ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira.

“She (Muchinguri) is coming back probably this week. She is on holiday in China,” an official in her ministry said.

Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo travelled to Kenya to holiday with his in-laws and took time to post pictures of his trip, particularly in the plane and at airports.

Although it could not be immediately established, sources said Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere also took time off to relax in South Africa.

Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira was also said to be in the Far East for a holiday, but she was not immediately available to comment.

However, the ministers’ holidaying angered many people who felt Mugabe’s top brass was insensitive to the plight of Zimbabweans.

Civil servants did not have a pleasant Christmas after failing to get their salaries and bonuses.

Analyst Blessing Vava said: “What we have is a government by deception. They are completely out of touch with the realities on the ground. However, having them here is just the same as they are on holiday. Nothing was going to change even if they were around. They are a bunch of failures.”

Opposition MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said this was not surprising as Zanu PF had never had people at heart.

“They use their government allowances and other perks to fund their holidays in very expensive foreign resorts in Dubai and the Far East. This is what you expect from a government which has since lost all moral authority to govern. While civil servants couldn’t be paid their December salaries on time and also failed to get their annual bonuses, literally, the entire Zanu PF Cabinet was enjoying a good time in foreign lands. These people are heartless. They don’t have any conscience at all,” Gutu said.

Analyst Alexander Rusero said: “It’s very simple, Zimbabwe is a kleptocracy, kleptocrats can rule without the people as long as their offices and power are guaranteed. But every nation, society or State gets the leadership that it deserves, Zimbabwe is no exception. It got a leadership it deserves on July 31, 2013, so there we are, we have to come to terms with hard reality that we have a leadership at best deserve and at least prefer.”


  1. This is where I don’t understand Zim’s politics and people who demonstrate only to a selected few. What happens to those people who don’t have ministers in their constituencies? They should starve?Every village should have a minister? No minister no food. Zim gone to the dogs

  2. Do people want hands out Mr Mzembi,are you the minister of a village constituency? You enjoy holidays in a country with nice shopping malls,nice all weather roads and highly developed infrastructure.All it’s through hard work and pragmatic policies adopted by by those political authorities.They have no time to spare for factional fights and hero worshipping,simple and straight forward.

  3. Generally, going on leave/holiday is every employee/employer’s right. The question is at whose expense? I suspect most Zimbabweans feel ministers are using tax-payers’ money…and this needs to be clarified. Mzembi is trying to use grade 2 logic – why are they not spending their money locally which they urge everyone to do (“buy Zimbabwe” etc)? Destroying stuff at home then going on to enjoy what others nationals have built for themselves abroad is not exactly what can set someone’s conscience as “clean”. No.

  4. I dont think this is newsworthy at all, politicians going on holiday? Do you honestly think any politician (ruling or opposition) would forfiet his or her holiday just to be with the suffering masses? No way, just rewind a few years ago and see pictures of Tsvangirai on a boat cruise with a girl whilst back home the people were scrounging for left overs. Mapoliticians akafanana ese, heartless.

    • When MT went holidaying the economy was now in good hands and we had food. Salaries and bonuses were being paid. It was in bad taste for these minsters to boast holdaying in expensive resort places of the world when their employes are wallowing in hunger. We had civil servants knocking at our doors for Christmas when they were riding camels in Dubai.

  5. Quite franlky if I were to ever get a chance to join the gravy train I will go for holiday to the international space station for 1 year

  6. There is nothing wrong with a senior government official taking leave but it’s HOW he does it in light of the circumstances. Our leaders are clearly shameless and off-side on this one! It means they got their salaries and bonuses before the rest of the civil servants. Straight from the lavish holiday you jump onto the podium to declare that government has no money and you expect us to take you seriously?

    Reporter, it would also be nice if you investigate for us how people with better economies like Obama, Cameron and Zuma spent their holidays. Then you also show us how John Magufuli, Kagame, Nkurunziza and Museveni do it.

    We, the governed went for holiday in the beautiful mountains of our rural areas. However, 45000 police details were deployed on our roads, toll gates were waiting for us and the rains were very little. Murombo haarovi chine nguwo.

  7. Nothing wrong with them takign a break BUT…nothing wrong with civil servant refusing to understand when they say there is no money! In show of solidarity with the suffering nation and to highlight the quality of local tourism, why not holiday there? Obama always goes to Hawaii for holiday and there is nothing in Hawaii that compares to Vic falls (nature wise), but becuase he goes there, that place’s fame is surging.

  8. Even if you were made to be in the same position as tbose ministers today,you would still be doing the same.Hapana zvamunotitaurira,rinonyenga rinohwarara.President we Nigeria wakati anoda kubvisa huori,akati iye ochiita CEO we oil,asi nanhasi iri kundobiwa,yasara yacho ichidhura,pamwe haitoonekwi futi pama pump.

  9. I personally dont see any difference between these morons being on holiday and being at work, they dont add any value to the life of the general populace. in short they are useless!

  10. It is really a sad issue because Dr. Munyaradzi Murwira the Executive Director of Zimbabwe National Family Council (ZNFPC) is enjoying himself in the Far East like the top Government Brass while employees of ZNFPC have not been paid for the last two months. ZNFPC employees are scavenging

  11. Every person deserves a holiday . How they do it is their business . It is unreasonable for you to tell people how to go on holiday . Even if they had not gone out of the country , that would not avail civil servants salaries . I used to think you analysts like Mandaza do analyse but I have realised he has nothing to offer except his misplaced political loyalty to the opposition . Holiday is holiday and there is no need for anyone to track down people on their private holiday . Holidays are planed and not wait to be paid a salary and immediately use it to go on holiday . To those on holiday , give it your best to make it a real holiday . For those who are complaining , what have you done to help the poor . THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY BUDGETED FOR THE FOOD AND SUPPLIES ARE ON THE WAY . WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT THEM TO DO ?

    • @hayibo you ask what else do we want them to do. we will tell you what else we want them to do: THEY MUST ALL RESIGN IN SHAME AND GO!

    • @Hayibo, you are out of touch with reality, how can you have the conscience to write such a ridiculous comment? How can we help the poor when the government has left us impoverished as well. We can’t even help ourselves. WE WANT THEM TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY HAVE FAILED DISIMARLY & DO THE HONOURABLE THING – RESIGNING

  12. You sang and danced when Robert got into power and little did you know kuti mapinza ngozi mumusha. Today we are now reaping rewards of this foolishness which has no signs of abating. My life has been ruined by this power hungry man. I remember when i used to frown at his pictures in the early 80s cause i had a premonition that there is something so bad hidden deep inside the man and little wonder now that all my fears of many years ago are now being manifested even unto my own children. God have mercy

  13. Just goes to show that Africa is a place to exploit and leave with the loot to spend abroad. Just imagine the implications of all the money spent, tax payer or not, if that was done within Zimbabwe’s own resorts. The only true patriots of Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole are those that can’t afford to leave. Those that can, would rather be somewhere else in the world, including the so called presidents and their families. Which other leaders regularly spend time in other countries on civilian non official visits?

  14. Obama goes to the presidential retreat within America. It’s called Camp David. Our is camp “Middle East”.

  15. “15 tonnes of rice where I gave 10kg each to 4 000 women.” ?? 10Kg X 4 000 = 40 tonnes. Where are the other 25 tonnes?

  16. Rusere n haibo very correct.when yu voted for them was it a perfomance based
    Vote?did yu tell them how to use their salaries n whr to go on holiday?if nt then tough on yu.yu r a very bad boss.yu shuld have clarified yo job discription n perks.dont forget most of these ministers r business people.yu want to tell them whr to wine n if they go local elephant hills,its ok?even if its more expensive.south africa can be cheaper than mana pools here.let them enjoy their holidays n money.kana pane abirwa yake mari by these people go to police n report. And mdc dont go to twn on this.we saw how yu did it during inclusive. Beach n sun bathing ,allegedly for a tan,prime minister needed a tan,even tho he is pitch black as midnight.women .plz

  17. Wouldn’t really care…they are not in public office. Should they attain public office I would want to know.

  18. This is called trampling on the heads of the poor. God is watching and God will not be mocked. How anyone of them can say they have a clear conscience is beyond me??????

  19. Nhau yekuti hamunawo mari zvenyu vamwe vanayo to spend haisi mhosva zve.Tsvaga yako uendewo kumiddle east ka.

    • @Freeman, thes so cold comrades are using tax payer’s money to do all the travelling. Just for the heads up – on arrival from the far east, Mugabe & Zanu pf are going to blow the tax payer’s money again on the nonagenarian’ s birth day bash in February

  20. Please leave Bob alone, we all have allowed him to stay in that position, so we should stop complaining. How on earth does a nation of normal people allow a 91 year old to be their president? I will repeat the line in an American movie, “if you had only eight minutes to live, what would you do?” Answer “I would make every minute count”. Bob is making every minute count. So this complaining, “please Stop It” you have the dear leader that you deserve. We have allowed ourselves to live on handouts, as Mzembi eloquently put it. He has subjects who depend on him; they are not demanding jobs to fend for their families, but are happy that the Minister will provide. We are truly a shameless nation.

    • Thanks Fundani. I have always said that Zimbabwe are indeed a bunch of paper tigers, who got what they deserved. A geriatric in charge and lots of praise singers.

  21. When they won the elections in 2013 I was walking in front of a trio of young men and they were taunting me with “Mugabe is there! Zanu PF is there!”. So you know what – you get what you deserve!!!

  22. This is just the start of a bad year . parents opted to buy food during the festive ignoring that schools will open and hence school fees . today some schools were not allowing kids into classes without payments . teachers are threatening to go slow citing poor working conditions which is true but all in the end it is our kids suffering this is really bad

  23. They need to go on holiday and see how other countries are developing so that when they get to Harare Airport their conscience will torment them and urge them to work for the betterment of their own country.

  24. guys i beg to differ of course we keep on saying this but my question is “Untill When” are we going to suffer yet we have millions if not billions of solutions to avert these headaching zanu hallabalooing and frustrating issues

  25. ZANU PF ministers going on expensive holidays shock, horror, awe!!! Seriously, what do people expect from these cunts? They ran down a once vibrant country to the ground by completely decimating our industry, health system and even our own currency! I swear I have seen other governments whose countries are at war perform better.Zimbabwe is a failed state and as the other analyst in the article to eloquently put it, a Kleptocracy.A country with a 91 year old president, no currency, no accountable leaders, 90% unemployment , erratic provision of basic services such as water, health care and electricity but could once provide it back then but can’t anymore because of bad governance, not war, but f***ng bad governance! We are in for a very rough ride this year.A tough one for sure

  26. We should put our trust in Musikavanhu that he can correct our situation hopefully soon because it is painful.

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