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Zimbabweans Trade Barbs Over Mugabe Vacation in Asia

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (2nd R) and his wife Grace arrive to attend a mass for the beatification of former pope Paul VI in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Oct. 19, 2014.

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (2nd R) and his wife Grace arrive to attend a mass for the beatification of former pope Paul VI in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Oct. 19, 2014.

Some Zimbabweans have criticized President Robert Mugabe for spending thousands of dollars in the Far East saying the money should have been channeled towards catering for the needs of his people facing serious economic problems.

State and ruling Zanu PF officials are tight-lipped over the president’s current holiday resort in Asia even if local people are raising too many questions about the money he is spending on a daily basis.

A large number of Zimbabweans are currently exchanging harsh words on various social media platforms about President Mugabe’s holiday in the Far East while the country is gripped by a crippling drought.

The opposition is equally infuriated though Zanu PF supporters argue that there is no basis for being angry for a president who is on a personal vacation.

For perspective, Studio 7 spoke with Obert Gutu, spokesperson of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Zanu PF activist Gadzira Chirumanzu.

Gutu said the president’s vacation is bleeding the country’s over-stretched fiscus.

“On behalf of my party and millions of Zimbabweans we are disappointed that President Mugabe has seen it fit to be outside the country for close to four weeks now. You will remember that he left Zimbabwe on December 2nd, 2015 today is January 14, 2016.

“The country does not even know where the president is staying. This is unprecedented. It is speculated that he is in the Far East, maybe he is now in the Far East all we know. Why the secrecy about his whereabouts?”

He further noted that the president is using taxpayers’ money on his vacation, a move that shows that he does not care about some suffering Zimbabweans, who are struggling to get a single meal a day.

In his response to these remarks, Chirumanzu said, “What Mr. Gutu is saying is repeated gospel, we have heard this several times but at the end of the day the people need to understand that the president has the right and as a head of state he has got also some privileges that he can go for leave or holiday wherever he wants.”

President Mugabe has over the years gone on annual vacation in the Far East. The 91 year-old Zimbabwean leader has been in power since independence from British rule in 1980.

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