Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi comes out fighting in defence of Mugabe and his whole family’s annual holiday in the Singapore again for the umpteenth time. The minister should have known that by defending the indefensible he only makes matter worse.
The Minister said it is in fact a sign of reciprocity that countries give to each other as they strengthen their relations, adding that such visits afford time to learn and adopt new ideas which can be used to spearhead programmes that bring about development in the country. ”The President’s visit to the far-east also fulfils the requirements of the Golden Book of Tourism awarded to him in May 2013 by the UNWTO Secretary General, Mr Talib Rifai that he will commit himself to the activities of tourism globally in terms of hostess-ship, source-market development and leadership in communicating good will between nations,” said Engineer Mzembi.
Reciprocity my foot! The critics raised a very valid point of Mugabe’s hypocrisy of wittering endlessly about Pan-Africanism and a few months ago he was criticising South Africa for not signing some regional trade agreement for example. And yet here was a chance for him to promote Africa tourism by spending the estimated $ 5 million this trip is costing in Malawi, Kenya or some such African resort centre.
It is no secret that Mugabe goes to Singapore for his eye check-up and other medical requirement. In 2012 alone he made eight such trips at a cost of $3 million . If a fraction of the money was spent on building an eye unit in Zimbabwe, it will not just be one of the best in Africa but in the whole world.
Mugabe’s daughter has spent donkey years studying in the Far East; she must have as many first degrees as her father’s seven and a lot more PhDs than just the one her mother received from UZ (so far at least; there is time for her to get more, she only need three months to get one).
For all his 34 years in power Mugabe has done a lot strengthening our relationship the Far East. If each time Mugabe or his family member has flown to the Far East they had left a spider thread in the sky the thread would be a metre in diameter and a danger to all planes who blunder into it. As far as Zimbabwe is concerned the country has gained absolutely nothing from this strengthened relationship because there has not been any “reciprocity”!
There has not been a flood of big spenders in our hotels, no Chinese students at UZ staying in $50 million apartments, Singapore residences would be appalled if their pet hospital was as run down as Mpilo Hospital!
The second point the people are displeased about Mugabe’s holiday is that he spending $5 million on a no-expense spared holiday at a time when the country is stone broke. 300 000 or 80% of the children did not go to school, the health service has completely collapse, there is no clean running water in all the towns and cities, etc. because there is no money to pay for these things. So come the nation has money to pay for a lavish holiday for Mugabe? And, as if that was not bad enough, this come hot on the track of Mugabe’s $1 million birthday bash, fairy-tale $5 million wedding for his daughter, etc., etc.
In many ways Minister Walter Mzembi’s defence of Mugabe’s reckless spending and total indifference to the misery and despair this regime has brought to millions of ordinary Zimbabweans is to be expected; this is a regime that does not care about anyone else but the ruling elite. Mugabe and Zanu PF rigged last year’s elections; the regime is not accountable to the people of Zimbabwe but only to those who elected them – the ghost voters on the voters roll and those bussed from one polling station to the next casting multiple votes!
Source: Wilbert Mukori