Mugabe, spin doctors must come clean on trips

Reports that soon after President Robert Mugabe’s return on Sunday from Singapore, where he had gone for treatment, the President immediately jetted out on yet another physically-taxing trip to Ghana for the West African country’s 60th independence anniversary, made sad reading.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

Understandably, Ghana has a special place in Mugabe’s heart, but there would have been no harm in sending an emissary to represent him while he takes a necessary break.

Suffice to say that since the beginning of the year, Mugabe has been subjected to a punishing travel schedule that has left many people feeling sorry for him.

At the ripe old age of 93, surely, someone must find it in their heart to allow the man to rest.

What is also particularly heart-breaking is that these trips continue to gobble huge amounts of taxpayers’ money, while critical services such as health, education and infrastructure development and industries are teetering on the brink of collapse.

The sad thing, perhaps, is that those who tend to benefit from these foreign trips financially will continue to push for them as a way of lining their pockets using the President’s senility.

We believe if First Lady Grace Mugabe really loves her husband, then it must occur to her that this busy schedule is not only punishing to the Zanu PF leader, but accelerating his demise. Therefore, First Lady Grace should come to Mugabe’s rescue and halt the veteran’s leader’s abuse by a clique controlling him even though Zimbabweans believe she may also want to maximise as she may be aware that someday very soon someone may take over the running of the country.

Clearly, exuberant portrayals of the President by those people close and around him are not doing him any good.

They should know that it is the course of nature that every man, eventually, must bow down to the march of time.

It is tragic, however, that the clique that Mugabe has surrounded himself with is determined to drive him to the very limit of what any natural human can bear.

Is it not in the public interest that Zimbabweans should know how much Mugabe’s entourage gobbles on each trip? We believe it is only fair that information regarding how much they are paid in allowances should be made public for accountability purposes.

Regrettably, due to these frequent trips, Mugabe is now loathed as “visiting President” by citizens who would have thought perhaps given the manifold crises bedevilling the country, he would probably have sent a representative on low-budget travels.

We challenge Mugabe or his spin doctors to come clean on these trips if really they benefit the country or this is simply a grand plan to siphon State resources out of the country through his love for gallivanting.

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