Zimbabwe opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned President Robert Mugabe for allegedly hiring a private plane at a cost of US$1 million at a time the country is facing serious financial constraints.
“Naturally it was bound to be expensive.”
That’s the explanation Zimbabwe transport minister gave for the chartering of a plane from Bahrain for the 93-year-old leader-according to a report from the Zimbabwe Independent weekly.
With his usual Air Zimbabwe plane unavailable, Mugabe hired a private jet to travel to Singapore for what officials insist was just a routine medical check-up.
Sources said the 93-year-old leader was also taking his elder son Robert to Dubai where he is based and reportedly studying.
Recently 10 Zimbabwe ministers held a press conference where Local Government Minister Savior Kasukuwere detailed Zimbabwe’s challenges begging for assistance from donors.
“The state is failing to assist victims of floods who need basics like food stuffs, tents and medical supplies. In the midst of this 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.’’ Said PDP spokesman.
Transport Minister Joram Gumbo told local newspaper that : “We were forced to hire from Bahrain because the one which is normally used by the president is still being serviced. As we are speaking the parts have just arrived and it will be up and running, but the president had to travel.”
President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore was in October last year made COO of debt-stricken national carrier Air Zimbabwe. Simba Chikore married Mugabe’s only daughter Bona in 2014.
“Tight mechanisms must be put in place in future for anyone who will be head of state not to have the privilege to abuse tax-payers money in the manner that Mugabe and his cronies have been allowed in the past 37 years,” said PDP National Spokesperson Jacob Mafume