Harare — President Robert Mugabe and his family have been criticised for spending scarce financial resources for avoidable medical treatment and expensive upkeep of his children in South Africa.
The criticism comes after the veteran leader (93) disclosed First Lady, Grace Mugabe, was in the neighbouring country to treat a recurring leg injury which led to her missing a presidential campaign rally in the southern Gwanda. The injury is said to be minor and thus treatable back home.
Mugabe and his inner circle have come under severe criticism of running down the health sector and subsequently using the country's limited finance to seek treatment outside the country while the majority are left to die in under-resourced hospitals that lack medication. Residents of Gwanda expressed dismay after Mugabe's rally. "If these funds used for medical tourism, and more that have been looted by government officials were channelled towards upgrading our hospitals, roads network and infrastructure development, our country could have been far much better," said a resident.
Mqondisi Ndebele of Gwanda, said Mugabe's government was misusing money but blamed so-called sanctions by the West for the collapse of the economy. "These economic plunders are insane," he said. The First Lady's trip to South Africa coincided with a spate of disruptive behaviour by her two sons now based in the country. Robert Jr and Bellarmine have been in the news lately for indiscipline leading to their eviction in a Johannesburg apartment. It is reported they are spending R70 000 monthly on accommodation. More than R200 000 more is spent on their security.