President Robert Mugabe arrived in Mauritius on Sunday, spending less than two days in Zimbabwe after jetting in from Swaziland where he had attended a regional summit.
Mugabe flew out to Swaziland on Friday for a Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit, and left for Mauritius on Sunday for the inaugural African Economic Platform (AEP) meeting.
The AEP summit opens today.
Mugabe’s frequent foreign jaunts are attracting heavy criticism from a cross-section of Zimbabweans, many of whom condemn the 94 year leader for blowing millions traveling across the globe when the cash strapped government is even failing to buy painkillers for public hospitals.
Just recently, he reportedly blew more than US$1million chartering an ultra-luxurious Boeing 767-200 Extended Range aircraft to Ghana and Singapore.
“In the midst of this (Zimbabwe socio-economic) crisis the person who is supposed to be the President finds it prudent to be flying to many destinations of his desire and then visit the country just briefly,” Jacoba Mafume, the People’s Democratic Party spokesperson recently said.
“We once stated that Grace Mugabe was a first lady from hell which was not a full reference, the truth of the matter is that the first family is from hell.”
However, Mugabe’s administration has defended the foreign travels as a necessary investment for the country. The President who has earned the moniker ‘the Visiting President’ tags along several aides and his children when he travels.
Foreign Affairs minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said Mugabe could not afford to miss the AEP summit “as it his brainchild”.
“Africa has embarked on an economic blueprint, Agenda 2063 that was pioneered by His Excellency the President during his tenure as African Union and SDAC chairman,” he said.
Agenda 2023 seeks to push for continental development.