THE 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.
With his usual Air Zimbabwe plane unavailable, Mugabe hired a private jet to travel to Singapore for what officials described as scheduled medical check-up
Sources however, said the 93-year-old leader was also taking his elder son Robert to Dubai where he is based and reportedly studying.
PDP National Spokesperson Jacob Mafume said his party was outraged by the irresponsibility displayed by President Mugabe at a time the country cannot even afford to feed its people and supply basics to flood victims.
Last week, 10 ministers held a press conference where Local Government Minister Savior Kasukuwere detailed Zimbabwe’s challenges as the administration begged 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.
“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,” Mafume said in a statement last Friday.
“Hospitals in Zimbabwe do not even afford to buy basic drugs like painkillers, previous year’s bonuses for civil servants have not been paid, the budget deficit continues to balloon with incapacity to fund expenditure seen through the continuous issuing of treasury bills which in the past two years are now amounting to US4 billion dollars.”
Mafume said Zimbabweans to create a coalition of champions not only against dictatorship but against the looting of resources by the Zanu PF administration.
“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,” he said.
“It is our contention that the conduct by the head of state if unchallenged continues to dig the economy into an abyss, he lacks care the only reason why he spends millions on a birthday party while his wife also squanders millions on diamond rings.