GLOBETROTTING President Robert Mugabe now runs a “Wi-Fi” government, opposition parties and analysts said yesterday.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Mugabe has for countless times travelled out of the country since his return from his vacation in the Far East in January despite calls that he stay in the country and fix Zimbabwe’s free falling economy.
Kuwadzana MP and former Information Communication Technology minister Nelson Chamisa said Mugabe’s foreign travels were worrying.
“In as much as we have to be techno savvy as a nation embracing ICTs, it is unacceptable to have a Wi-Fi government governed by WhatsApp and Twitter hoping to deliver services by bluetooth,” Chamisa told The Standard.
Mugabe’s foreign travel spilled into Parliament last week with Chamisa demanding that Mugabe be rested from his multiple trips and concentrate on addressing a myriad of challenges that have hit the country.
Chamisa pleaded with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ensure measures were taken to save Mugabe from foreign trips and avoid humiliation.
“Everywhere our leader is going, he is being embarrassed. I was not impressed by what happened in Nigeria, I was angry and my question is ‘what are we doing to save our President from humiliation outside the country’?” asked Chamisa.
He was referring to Mugabe’s embarrassing encounter with Nigerian journalists before he was caught on camera sleeping at the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
But Mnangagwa justified Mu-gabe’s trips as necessary, adding it was the duty of other countries hosting Mugabe to provide adequate security to the 91-year-old leader to avoid such embarrassing scenes such as the one encountered in Nigeria.
Other opposition MPs implored Mugabe to stay home and concentrate on creating the more than 2,2 million jobs that he promised the electorate ahead of the July elections.
They said the country was on auto-pilot because Mugabe was an “absentee” President owing to his regular flying in and out of the country.
Political analyst and academic Ibbo Mandaza said Mugabe’s continued absence has slowed down implementation of several government programmes and worsened the country’s economy.
He said it was evident the “airborne Mugabe” was now out of touch with what was happening on the ground.
“This country is on auto-pilot. I don’t think he is aware of what is going on except that those who are close to him are afraid of him and can’t acknowledge that fact,” Mandaza said.
He said it was evident the country was nearing a breaking point with serious implications. The situation was made worse, Mandaza said, by the fact that there was fear and distrust in Zanu PF and that in the absence of Mugabe, nothing worked in government.
MDC Renewal spokesperson Jacob Mafume said: “The country is now on auto-pilot with an absentee President. It has been left at the mercy of pretenders to the throne who are fighting viciously for power, neglecting their ministry portfolios to position themselves in preparation of the president’s inevitable departure.”
“We are in a permanent elections mode with elections to nowhere. Service delivery has gone to the dogs,” said Mafume. – The Standard