Mugabe, Grace bleed Zimbabwe dry

First Lady Grace Mugabe. Pic by Shepherd Tozvireva

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe flew out to Uruguay, while his Zanu PF party youths are in Russia, both using Air Zimbabwe’s long-haul planes, leaving the national flag carrier with only one aircraft that sources said is not working.


Mugabe is attending the World Health Organisation (WHO) conference on communicable diseases in Montevideo while politburo secretary for youths Kudzi Chipanga led a delegation of over 100 people to Sochi, Russia, for an obscure meeting at which the Zanu PF leader will be honoured, among other leaders, for “fighting imperialism”.

Last month, Mugabe splurged over $10 million after his wife First Lady Grace and close relatives tagged along with 70 other “officials” to the United Nations General Assembly in New York at a time when the country is facing crippling cash shortages.

“He (Mugabe) used an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767 plane while Chipanga and the other youths are likely to be using the Boeing 737,” NewsDay heard.

“The First Lady left the country late on Sunday. She was going to Russia, but was expected to stop over in China.”

Mugabe was, according to sources, initially scheduled to travel to Russia, but reportedly changed his mind at the 11th hour “because the Sochi meeting is low-key”.

“The President would have been the only world leader to attend and even Russian President Vladimir Putin is not expected anywhere near the event,” insiders said.

The Uruguay trip, it has emerged, is also a “very low-key event”, but Mugabe rode on the fact that it’s being hosted by a global body.

According to sources, three planes were chartered, one which went with 113 youths who were reportedly paid $3 000 each in allowances. The other plane was reportedly chartered for Grace flying to Russia via China, while Mugabe went to Uruguay with an estimated delegation of 80 government officials and hangers-on.

Opposition People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti yesterday accused Mugabe of treating Zimbabwe as “his farm”.

“Between 1500 and 1600, the Portuguese explorers in this part of the world took possession of vast tracts of land known at the time as prazos. This is what Mugabe sees Zimbabwe as. He sees this country as a prazo and Zimbabwe needs a revolution to remove this latter-day prazo owner in the form of Mugabe and his family. It’s sad,” Biti said.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu was equally at a loss for words.

“Mugabe’s continued disregard of public opinion to travel non-stop shows the depth of State capture in Zimbabwe. His wife travels at State expense even though she is not a government official. The Mugabes have Zimbabwe where they want, turned this country into their fiefdom and one can just wonder about the effect on Treasury. The little semblance of nationhood we were left with is dissipating with each passing day,” Gutu said.

But Information minister Simon Khaya Moyo said the opposition was misinformed.

“They must stop dreaming because they have no idea of the benefits the country will draw from that meeting. There are Heads of State from other countries attending and that cannot be low-key by any stretch of the imagination,” Khaya Moyo said.

It has also been learnt that Air Zimbabwe’s Boeing 737 plane is effectively grounded in Sochi waiting to pick up the Zanu PF youth delegation comprising over 100 members.

“They selected 10 youths from each province plus members of the national executive. Chipanga will receive the award on behalf of the President, but the First Lady is expected to attend the event,” another source said.

Mugabe has shown no signs of letting up on his love for international travel, draining the already depleted national purse. While the size of Mugabe’s entourage could not be established last night, the Zanu PF leader has a penchant for huge travelling parties.

State media reported that Mugabe had travelled with Walter Mzembi (Foreign Affairs), David Parirenyatwa (Health) and presidential spokesperson George Charamba, among a host of officials and hangers-on. Charamba is on record as arguing “diplomacy does not come cheap” while defending Mugabe’s extravagant travel expenditure.

Mugabe last year blew $53m on travel alone while State allocations for the upgrade of dilapidated infrastructure in hospitals just topped $20m. In March, Mugabe chartered a Bahrain-operated 767 Boeing Business Jet, owned by Comlux Aviation, for which government paid $1m in four days.


  1. Zmbabweans are paying an expensive price full time for their docile and timid attitude towards reckless and disrespectful political leadership which had turned into modern Vasco da Gamas.Far from it, Vosco da Gama brought considerable wealth for his country,what about these ones,poverty and misery.

  2. Only mugabe-now-revealed self-proclaimed tribalist edison zvobgo and chitungwiza group of 26 member herbert ushewokunze were brave enough to tell rgm that what he was doing was wrong. Mangurenje was even dismissed from cabinet for suggesting that the number of government ministers should be cut down, and, he became the only casualty of that cut down which in effect did not reduce the ministries but only offloaded herbert.

  3. Mugabe can do this because we allow him, us Zimbabweans. He thinks being president means globe trotting but it costs lots of money for a poor country. But he doesnt care.

  4. people who vote him into power and help him stay there are protesting against you who think you know it all. The poor povo will rather have him globe trotting than you the educated and thinking lot. Simply because now that you are educated you act too smart to their dismay. so they are protesting against the rich on how you behave in front of the poor, the educated, the rural folks, how do you act in front of them. their reply to your misdeeds, is mugabe. Look at yourself and change, you will see he will not last a day in the air!!!!!

  5. like lotto, the million or so subordinates to those hundred youths will become more loyal with the hope of enjoying the same benefits one day. Extravagance is a fuel for idolatry in zimboland.

  6. Ito chinjai zita renyika. mungoiti Mugabe. Tichamama chete as long he is still the president, mukadzi wake achingovukura. 17 October yabva yapfuura futi haa pakaipa

  7. I am worried that one commentator is actually looking for mercy from Mugabe. Zimbabweans could never expect such mercy or compunction from Mugabe and his patronage. Mugabe is an incapable, selfish, insensitive individual who once he got the chance to be at the helm of this country through Vorster’s detente (around 1975),’reinforced by immature/inexperienced decision-making by Zanu at the time, sought to entrench himself for ever – of course realising he would not make it in life without this autocracy. This is typical of people that cannot live of their own seat/means. Once the commentator realises this idiosyncrasy of Mugabe as President,and the gagantuan appetite for easy money for people that Mugabe has surrounded himself over the years, they should not be grovelling for mercy, rather they should be more shrewd than that if he and other Zimbabweans are to redeem themselves from such oprression.

  8. Zvimwe zvose tingataure but we deserve the leaders we have period. How do you explain that people dont want to vote and yet they are yearning for change. Voting is not about removing Mugabe but influencing policy. Mugabe akashaya anomuti hey vakomana tinoyaura. We can influence his policy without necessarily having our favourite politicians in power

    • Is he going to attend alone? If, so, then he is a mad man!
      But, if, other Heads of states are in attendance, then contributors on this forum are either lunatics or hatemongers, period.

  9. to all the people who are commenting here. did you vote in the last election? if not don’t complain. the second question is have registered to vote next year. have you asked your friends to do so and if you are old enough have you carried your 18+ children on your back to register them. freedom does not come on a silver plate and grace will not just give it up just like that.

  10. What next now that the opposition mandated to keep checks and balance has reduced itself to mere political analysts? Pathetic!

    • Biti is not lying – you just can’t be arsed to spend 10 seconds googling the word “prazo”. FYI: A prazo was a large estate leased to colonists, settlers and traders in Portuguese Africa to exploit the continent’s resources. Prazos operated like a semi-feudal … from Wikipedia.

    • iwewe ndiwe ukutonyepa kana wakaita history kune inonzi prazo system yakatangwa nemaportuguese and the owners of these prazos were called Prazeros……..Get your facts straight

  11. Kuchema chema hakubetseri we must to act nt talking ,since 1980 unoti hamuna kumboitwa mavotes in Zim pfutseki dzevanhu ,vote or nt vote is the same kunongowina 1 person how let act

  12. Enough is enough kana kangoma koririsa koda kubvaruka. These guys really know they have no chance of winning the 2018 elections and they have only resorted to looting for the last time… WELL, TIME IS OVER YOU ZANU THUGS…. CHANGE IS CERTAIN and unfortunately there is nothing left for. Once, he’s gone he would have gone with the party because that center of power will no hold anymore forever more… Nah wanna dem MOREEE , Angel of War…. Marujata Grace will face the war alone because Zimbabwe yese inenge ichida msoro wake mu plate

    • Wishful thinking chete. we are stuck with this dynasty! takazviregerera tichoswero nyeperwa. Hanzi hee varungu vakaipa, hee ivhu ndredu when the real agenda was to remove the ever questioning whites and create space for their looting and unaccountability knowing very well that us vana vevhu will not dare lift a finger. Its quite clever if you really think about it.Turn the whole country into supper singers!

  13. Zimbabwe is now a little impoverished banana republic with a very arrogant leadership that is taking advantage of a docile population that is also ignorant of its rights. A very sad state of affairs.

  14. Am not sure if these planes could be defined as CHARTERED, if so the airline is making good business or perhaps it could be something like FREE CHARTER?

    • Even if the planes were chartered, who do you think pays for the President’s Office expenses. Your and my taxes correct? In every looting, someone always makes a killing, be it a parastatal or private company, but the question is who is the victim?

  15. Mugabe knows his people specially the male population is weal and plastic like. That they have no spunk in them, that they can be bullied and they will not lift a baby finger. Read the posts above, it confirms the fact that Zimbabweans only talk big and are too docile to do do anything. Mugabe and his wife are free to do as they please even to the extent of having made this country another Southern Sudan or another of the banana republics. The answer will not be in elections which have never been free and fair 2018 will also be rigged bringing in Grace and her bandits in a future regime containing even more thieves. Yes we are heading towards a Somali type country where anarchy reigns. The answer is blood will have to be spilled if we are take our country back.

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