Mugabe holiday chews $6m

17
1943

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s month-long annual leave, which started this week is set to gobble at least $6 million in taxpayers’ money as he pampers his family including a huge entourage in the Far East at a time the economy is stuttering.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

This came as the majority of civil servants will receive their December salaries in January next year.

Former Finance minister, Tendai Biti, yesterday alleged that Mugabe collects at least $4 million from Treasury each time he embarks on his foreign junkets and about $6 million for his month-long annual leave, leaving government coffers dry.

Biti, who now heads the opposition People’s Democratic Party, said the money covers transport, accommodation and allowances for Mugabe’s family and his large entourages.

“Every time the President leaves the country he takes with him $4 million in hard cash which in most cases is raided from the RTGS system. This is part of the reason why we have cash shortages, because accounts for ordinary people have been raided to fund unnecessary travel. With his relatives and security personnel over the month-long holiday he could spend close to $6 million,” Biti said.

But, Information minister Christopher Mushowe, yesterday scoffed at the allegations, saying he would not lose sleep over remarks made by “jobless people”.

“I am the chief government spokesperson and I don’t comment on hearsay. Bring the transcript of what he said and I will comment appropriately,” he said.

Government has failed to pay civil servants their December salaries ahead of the festive season, with the majority now expecting to be paid on January 3 next year. Treasury has remained mum over their 2016 bonus payment.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu urged Mugabe to cut down on his foreign travel and spend his holiday at home to save the scarce foreign currency.

“The Far East is President Robert Mugabe’s holiday destination of choice. This is a colossal embarrassment to have the entire First Family and their in-laws flying more than 10 000km away for an extended holiday at State expenditure. Other leaders like President Jacob Zuma of South Africa are spending their holidays at their rural homes in Nkandla, KwaZulu Natal, but Mugabe can never spend his annual holidays at local tourist resorts such as the Victoria Falls, Kariba or Nyanga,” Gutu said.

Zimbabwe People First spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire, said: “We pray that during his holidays, it would dawn upon him that he has reached a stage in his life where even old ceases to be the prefix of man. We hope he will reckon he now belongs to the other world and it’s only fair for him to leave the job of running this country to those who are on this side of the world.”

Mawarire said Mugabe’s endless foreign trips were draining the economy and scuppering any prospects of an early economic recovery.

“It is also unfortunate that he is now in the habit of taking with him every close family member whenever he travels outside the country at the expense of the fiscus. While it remains a mystery why he does this, the consequences to the National Budget are there for everyone to see,” he said.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Chris Mushowe has gone frm being a reasonable man to a becoming a ridiculously arrogant bootlicker in such a short space of time, how sad

    • Very true
      Well done to Biti The old man cannot even holiday on the continent or even in the country where he commands everything which is full of beautiful holiday spots
      Thank you Biti Keep the pressure on yu were a good finance ministe

  2. Not surprising at all.Zimbabweans have allowed him to behave as he pleases.This is personal rule at its highest peak.No distinction between Gushongo Holdings and the state issues.He claims to be a Pan Africanist but hardly spends any holiday in any part of the African Continent.

  3. Given that I see no figure given above for the size of the entourage, plus the fact that Mugabe’s family last time took a trip to Dubai from Malaysia in between (remember Mphoko and Mnangagwa’s competing visits to Dubai?), plus the fact that Mugabe’s entourage is always given a generous amount to cover any possible emergency costs to entourage members or for the plane (an amount which we learnt during Gono’s tenure stopped being returned to the RBZ if unused after trips), plus no doubt costs to cover a stop at Malaysian medical facilities……how was this calculation of daily allowances made?

    • The issue is not how much they are going to spend in 30 days but how much they can siphon out of the country on each occasion.

  4. Its quite easy, the reason why Mugabe is rich is in part through these “travel” schemes. Not every cent taken from government is used as you want to explain. Consider that Mugabe books the whole floor to himself (sometimes 2 floors) because he doesn’t want people seeing what happens to his group. He has to stay at the most expensive hotels in Singapore. The cost per day of booking the whole floor is more than $20 000. Usually Mugabe has special requests e.g he no longer eats any type of food, so they also book a portion of the kitchen. That costs money, lets put it at $5000 per day. Every one of the bloated delegation is entitled to a per diem. Mugabe claims $1000 per diem per day and his wife and kids the same. So the first family claims about $5000 per day. The other 80 or so hangers on depend on seniority but lets put an average of $500 per diem per day. Multiply by 80, you get $40 000 per day. Now you factor in food per day (I just cost the hiring of kitchen). Then the medical bills. He has to check in at the most expensive hospital and during that time the whole hospital floor is occupied only by him. So he books the whole floor. That costs money. Then you arrive at your figure sir!. The change of course *wink*.

  5. In this country, all political leaders should be clear that they don’t own the state or the state’s resources. When they arrive at state house or elsewhere in government, they will behave differently from what we hear here.

  6. When Mugabe dies, the state has to claim all that which he and his cronies looted from State funds. Hapana iyoyo, that will happen chete to you or your kids and relatives. We will claim what is ours, you cant use and abuse us so. Vese nana Gono, tinoda mari dzedu. Muchachembera chete and the State will come after you NO WAYS. Chimbonakirwayi henyu but the true law will catch up with you.

  7. Well don’t forget jet fuel, aiport taxes, top hotels, medical bills, vehicle hire for entorage and potential income that Air Zimbabwe would have lost.. All this will run into millions. I know for a fact that staff allowances are ridiculous. So these are serious matters I believe Biti might be correct.

  8. Eish, inga munhu anodhura kuchengeta kana akura zvokwadi!! Over $1,000 kudya nekurara chete? Ndosaka Mwari akati kana takura tofa, otherwise vana vaizoshaya chekudya.

  9. Did you all see the video of this old, decrepid, thieving, corrupt and very selfish man trying to plant a tree in a Masvingo village? He couldn’t complete the job because he doesn’t know what a shovel is used for.! His $1,5m ring wife from Benoni suburb of JHB had to finish the job! Horrible man.
    The Air Mugabe boeing 767 is not chartered from anybody – it belongs to the Zimbabwe taxpayer through Air Zimbabwe, and is just taken and used BUT NOT PAID FOR, by this awful family of thieves. It will not return to Harare to do commercial trips to JHB or Vic Falls; from Singapore he will continue on to Dubai for Xmas and New year; it will stay with him for the whole month, incase he has to be whisked back to hospital in Singapore. Horrible selfish prick.

  10. Ndo ma allowances e government yedu zve. Unlimited fuel allocation. Hon Chinamasa said, he is going to reduce government expenditure. The entire leadership has those allowances l bet.

  11. The article would have been better if they gave a breakdown of the entourage and where everyone stays and the

  12. mari irikushota munyika munhu achitora 4 milion imbwa chaidzo they dnt hv people at heart they are bizy looting

  13. There were go, when MPHOKO complained about unfair targeted demonstrations we called him TRIBAL because he is not from our part of the country? Not that he was right but demonstrating against one individual out of worse culprits won’t change the equation, will it?

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