14 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Mugabe to Take Dozens, Including Family to UN Summit

Photo: New Zimbabwe
The Mugabes on vacation (file photo).

The United States has reportedly queried the inclusion of President Robert Mugabe's family on his entourage of more than 70 people to the United Nations summit scheduled for next week.

According to Business Africa, although the summit was expected to run from September 19-23, Mugabe and his delegation were set to depart on September 16.

The report quoted diplomatic sources this week as saying that the US embassy queried the inclusion of Mugabe's family, namely the First Lady Grace Mugabe, their daughter Bona and grandson Simbanashe. The delegation also included Mugabe's son Bellarmine Chatunga as well as Russell Goreraza, Grace's eldest son.

"Passports were submitted last week for visa applications at the US embassy, but officials queried the number of delegates and declined to offer a visa to one of the journalists from the state media," a source said.

"Mugabe's entourage will be away for 10 days and government gives each member of the delegation US$1 500 per day."

'Mugabe family fiefdom'

A News Day report said that opposition parties and civic groups had expressed outrage over Mugabe's trip, as his delegation was set to blow over $10 million in allowances at a time when the country was facing a crippling cash shortages.

"This just goes to show that Zimbabwe has now been reduced into a Mugabe family fiefdom. We are now a de facto Mugabe (Private) Limited company. The State has been captured by the Mugabe family. Robert Mugabe is the chief executive officer and his wife, Grace, is the chief operating officer. This is a tragedy of monumental proportions. Cry the beloved country," Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesperson Obert Gutu was quoted as saying.

Another MDC led by Welshman Ncube said this was a globetrotting jaunt disguised as an international engagement.

"It is a heart stopper to learn that the 10-day trip will see each member of the delegation gobble over US$15 000 -- at a time people are sleeping in bank queues, going for months on end without getting salaries."

Personal business

The MDC claimed that the Mugabes, who were banned from travelling to the US, were using the trip for personal business.

More than 150 world leaders were expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit at the UN headquarters in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda.

This agenda would serve as a launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for all over the next 15 years.

Mugabe was expected to address the world leaders on September 21.

Twitter reaction

We're told President Mugabe is taking a 70 member delegation to the UN General Assembly seating,most of them close family members.

Tragic!! - Obert Gutu (@GutuObert) September 13, 2017

Mugabe's "UN delegates" to New York, including his toddler grandson, will each get $1500 per diem. Most Zimbos don't earn that in a year.- Fadzayi Mahere (@advocatemahere) September 11, 2017

UN BRACE YOURSEH-YO! PAPAY MUGABE BRING HO-CLAN TO SUMMIT! YOU ABOU!?- J. Rodney Chesson (@JRodneyChesson) September 13, 2017

News24

Zimbabwe

'Mugabe Likely to Go Gracefully, Mnangagwa Unlikely to Stay Long' – Former U.S. Diplomat

Herman J. Cohen was the first President George Bush's top Africa diplomat, serving as Assistant Secretary of State for… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.