Mugabe holiday mystery deepens

MYSTERY over President Robert Mugabe’s whereabouts deepened yesterday, after he was reportedly said to have met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, yesterday, hardly four days after his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, announced that the veteran politician had left China and flown back to his favourite holiday retreat in Singapore.

BY STAFF REPORTER

One of Jamel Ahmed's houses said to have been seized by the First Lady Grace Mugabe in the on-going $1,3 million diamond ring saga is largely neglected, with its yard being left unkempt. There were rumours that soldiers were now guarding the properties, although this proved to be untrue.

One of Jamel Ahmed’s houses said to have been seized by the First Lady Grace Mugabe in the on-going $1,3 million diamond ring saga is largely neglected, with its yard being left unkempt. There were rumours that soldiers were now guarding the properties, although this proved to be untrue.

Chinese media yesterday confirmed that Mugabe was in Beijing, where he pledged to strengthen co-operation with China in various sectors of the economy, including infrastructure development and agriculture.

Early last week, Mnangagwa revealed that his boss had travelled to China and on Thursday, the VP told mourners at the late national hero, Peter Chanetsa’s Borrowdale home that he had spoken to Mugabe before the Zanu PF strongman
retreated to Singapore to continue with his holiday.

“I phoned the President telling him about the death and he told me that he had learnt about it through the First Lady, who had read about it on the internet,” Mnangagwa said then.

“I managed to talk to him (Mugabe). He had left China for Singapore and he said tell the relatives that I am in agreement (with Chanetsa’s hero status).”

Chanetsa was declared a national hero and buried at the national shrine, with Mnangagwa presiding over the event as acting President.

Yesterday, Chinese media published images of Mugabe meeting Xi in Beijing, suggesting the Zanu PF leader had either made a second trip to China within a week or had not left that country.

Mugabe is also scheduled to travel to Mali and Equatorial Guinea for yet-to-be-specified reasons.

It has also been reported that the President will fly between Singapore and Dubai, where he will meet some of his ministers, who are making a beeline for Asia, to visit the veteran leader.

Mugabe’s latest visit to China is a follow-up to Xi’s State visit to Zimbabwe and the Johannesburg summit, late last year.

The soon-to-be-93-year-old Zanu PF leader, currently on a month-long vacation together with his family, has lined up several international junkets from his Singapore base, bleeding the national economy and national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, in the process it has been reported.

Last month, presidential spokesperson, George Charamba indicated that his boss’ annual leave would be interspersed with official engagements including a trip to the African Union Summit in Ethiopia later this month.

Mugabe’s surprise appearance in China has set tongues wagging back home, with his critics accusing him of globe-trotting and blowing taxpayers’ money at a time the local economy is stuttering, with the majority of civil servants having received their December salaries only a week ago.

Former Finance minister and opposition People’s Democratic Party leader, Tendai Biti, last month claimed that Mugabe collects at least $4 million from Treasury each time he travels outside the country and about $6 million for his month-long annual leave, leaving government coffers dry.

“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,” he alleged.

“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.”

Opposition parties and civil society groups have on numerous occasions called on Mugabe to take a cue from his regional counterparts, and cut down on his foreign travel 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 the State’s expense.

“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,” MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said.

Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First has also accused Mugabe of choking the economy by his endless foreign trips.

Charamba yesterday confirmed Mugabe was in China. “Yes, the President is in China on official business and held a meeting with his counterpart, President Xi, he later had dinner and, as we stated in our statement at the beginning of his annual leave, he would be engaged in some official government engagements during his leave. You shall see more of those meetings. I can confirm the President is in China.”

Meanwhile Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko has taken over as acting President — taking over from his counterpart, Mnangagwa — who goes on leave until next month.

Mnangagwa has been acting President since last month when President Robert Mugabe embarked on his annual leave.

Charamba, confirmed in a statement last night that Mphoko is acting President from today until Mugabe resumes his duties next month.

“Vice-President Mphoko will act up to the end of this month when His Excellency is expected back into the office,”he said.

31 Responses to Mugabe holiday mystery deepens

  1. Mutoriti January 10, 2017 at 6:10 am #

    Newsday,how is it your business?Whethet His Excellency is in China,Singapore or wherever, is none of your business!

    • Gregg Smith January 10, 2017 at 7:44 am #

      It is the right of any citizen to know where there president is at any given time, you still have the brain to call him excellency. You will fall with him and suffer.

    • ndangariro January 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      toda kuziva kunemudhara wedu,

    • mark longhurst January 11, 2017 at 3:11 am #

      hopefully he will be getting all the rhino horn he helped poach, shoved frimly up his rrrrse and then trampled by the eles he sold,useless old git

  2. age January 10, 2017 at 6:18 am #

    when u reach 93yrs old people want to even know when u visit the toilet

  3. Ehe January 10, 2017 at 6:23 am #

    Mutoriti. U are truly an idiot. The whereabouts of any elected official are the business of any voter

  4. Gregg Smith January 10, 2017 at 7:47 am #

    Here is a plan to save yourselves some money.Blow up that plane of his whilst it is in Harare. Put an end to his globe trotting. He will have to us commercial flights, which he will no do

  5. hapana January 10, 2017 at 8:11 am #

    newsday l dnt get e part yekuti Mugabe holiday mystery deepens..he is in China.

  6. hapana January 10, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    newsday l dnt get e part yekuti Mugabe holiday mystery deepens.he is in China…

  7. TheRambo January 10, 2017 at 8:23 am #

    He was in China even Xinhua News Agecy confirmed that

  8. Jola January 10, 2017 at 8:23 am #

    Mutoriti “an IDIOT”

  9. Sharia January 10, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    Tying his shoe laces together whilst he’s in slumber will be more effective

  10. Aristotle January 10, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    Everything aside, there is no mystery here. A poor story by any standards.

  11. gunguwo January 10, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    The President heard about Chanetsa’s death from Dr Amai who had read about it on the internet? I used to think national issues are reported to the President directly by phone. It means there was a break in communication between him and our dear President. So he heard from Dr. Grace? Thought he would read about it on the internet himself. So the President is remotely leading Zimbabwe through Grace, through the internet, through Mnangagwa? Pakaipa! Anyway, rovai mari yenyu pahorodhi mudhara, makafira nyika ino chokwadi!!

  12. Tungi Mu January 10, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    How did his “holiday mystery deepen” if you’re confirming that he in China yesterday?

  13. Willard Tramposo January 10, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Its his time let him travel. Since these are dying minutes and once he retire, he wont have this golden opportunity.
    He faced many challenges during the war. He was imprisoned for many yrs and now its time for him to cover up for those yrs he was in jail.

  14. Willard Tramposo. January 10, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    Let him enjoy life and remember, he was in jail for many yrs so he is coverin up for the time lost while imprisoned.
    Remember, this is squeaky bum time and once lose this opportunity to be merry and globe trotting, he wont get it again.

  15. milton January 10, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    Believe it or not, the President and his family pay for their flights on Air Zimbabwe, even when chartering a plane. Instead of bleeding the national airline, he is actually giving Air Zimbabwe business. He is one of the few presidents in the world who prefer to use their national airlines as opposed to demanding a private jet exclusively for themselves and their families, as is the case with most African presidents. Believe it or not

    • Kevy January 10, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

      Cant believe this… The former Finance Minister just told us what really happens when he travels abroad, he is in a better place to explain to us what really happens. I do not think he uses the National airline by choice…

    • mark longhurst January 11, 2017 at 3:09 am #

      HEE HEE HEE uru nyepa ewe, bvisa msoro pa mabrown ye bob…….you are a complete fool

  16. kiki January 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    kikikikikikkikiki vakafa hapana chavakaona zvokwadi, ichokwadi here chema millions ayo 4 kozoti mamwe 6 kututsira pamusoro hezvo hard cash kikikikikikikiki, mirai kuita majokes mhani heyyyy

  17. addmore gudo January 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    Just to correct Mutoriti &others who are lying:the president is a public figure-the reason why all his movements are announced,to let pple know all what he/she might b doing,bec he is at the command of public resources,just like n employer might want to know how his manager is running his company,the president is running the public company-the state& his employers are the pple who might want to see if he is not abusing their resources.True the media has business abt it since itz the public’s platform for communications-they report & pple would know & hold the president accountable at elections times or thru other state institutions like the courts or parliaments.The president does not pay for his trips while in office,they are bankrolled by the public-the reason why the ppl hav every right to scrutinize &question them.President would always travel with state staff whose expenses are always on public money.True, members of his family will always take advantage of the state resources-the reason why thre is always an out cry

  18. Matangakunwa January 10, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

    zvese izvo hazvina basa because no one has control over any of the issues here boys dzangu. the only big and undisputed truth is God is on our side people are going to have bumper harvest there is no campaign gimmick this time. munhu wese anenge aine chibage so pakaipa

  19. Tembertshuma January 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    If l take a luke in Zim we dont have president.r.g ngabve pachigaro coz hapana zvaari kuita kutabisa mari mahara ne old brain dzake plz plz oh god hire us.tanetseka isu

  20. Tungi Mu January 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Have you tried to verify if these figures Biti is throwing around are true or or just decided to take the word of a disgruntled former-minister (who’s now a leader of an opposition political party) as the WORD?

    We need better journalism.

    (and as one poster pointed out, Mugabe is one of the few Presidents out there who use the national airline – and sometimes even flies with common folk on his trips… whether the national airline is paid for those trips is another story, same as whether he pays for them from his own pocket)

  21. Tungi Mu January 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    If Mugabe uses $4 million on a 2/3 day trip, how does he end up using ONLY $6 million on a 20/30 day trip (were he’s got his entire clan with him)?! The maths just doesn’t add up.

  22. Kd January 10, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    Watch your spellinhg newsday the pic has a word “with the yard being left UNKEMPT” should it be the yard is not being cleaned up or something on these lines ..

    So the other VP is on holiday until next month perhaps following the boss to Singapore??

  23. Kd January 10, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

    correction:to first item
    Watch your spelling Newsday the pic has a word “with the yard being left UNKEMPT” should it be the yard is not being cleaned up or something on these lines.

  24. Nokuda January 10, 2017 at 11:02 pm #

    Mugabe doesnt deserve a holiday. He is always on holiday, what work does he do? Sleeping?

  25. Tongesai Mwatse January 11, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    I just spotted an Air Zimbabwe plane@ Dubai International Airport. I posted it on my Facebook page

  26. Tongesai Mwatse January 11, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    I just spotted an Air Zimbabwe plane@ Dubai International Airport. I posted the picture on my Facebook page

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