Home » Governance » Mugabe Ropes Daughter Into Official Zim-Japan Meetings

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, out on a state visit to Japan, has invited g condemnation from critics who accuse the veteran leader of wilful violation of protocol and privatising the State.

This is after he was on Sunday shown on national TV locked up in State level meetings with Japanese officials his while his daughter, Bona, sat through the process, right next to the veteran leader.

On Mugabe’s left was Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Zimbabweans on Monday took to social media to condemn the development, with the opposition MDC-T saying it was “shocked” the veteran leader had roped in non-state actors into government business.

“That was very much out of order and it is a clear indication that Robert Mugabe has virtually privatised the State,” said MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu in an interview with Newzimbabwe.com.

Conspicuous by her absence was the First Lady Grace Mugabe, who always travels with her elderly husband but has never been spotted sitting through official meetings.

The now influential Zanu PF women’s league boss has however courted her own controversy after she last month grabbed a seat next to the party president during a politburo meeting.

But Gutu feels Mugabe was violating the state constitution and that of his own party.

“Robert Mugabe thinks that he is Zimbabwe and now we see him roping in his wife, and children his sons-in-law and all other relatives into the state machinery in complete and utter disregard of the constitution of the country,” he said.

“Bona is not a government official and we, as MDC, are absolutely shocked that she has been attending official meetings as if she is part of the official delegation from Zimbabwe.

“We also suspect that her visit has been funded through state resources, clearly vindicating our argument that the Mugabe regime abuses state resources for private and selfish benefit.

“This is a clear indication that Zimbabwe is now a banana republic under the tutelage of the Mugabe dynasty.”

Similarly, political analyst Charles Mangongera felt Mugabe had breached protocol and was clearly living in a world of his own.

“It’s rather awkward in the realm of public administration,” Mangongera said.

“I know that heads of state can travel with their families when they go on such visits but to then include them in meetings is breach of protocol. She is not a government employee.

“She should not have access to government business and therefore for her to be sitting in such meetings is breach of protocol.”

Grace too poorly to travel

Grace Mugabe’s absence from the Japan trip has also sparked fresh speculation around the deteriorating health of the first couple after a speech she was supposed to deliver at a weekend rally to celebrate Shuvai Mahofa’s ascension to being Masvingo provincial affairs minister was read by Senate President Edna Madzongwe.

The First Lady spent nearly two months in the Far East nursing an ailment which saw her go under the knife.

In her absence, President Mugabe tumbled and fell on a carpet in front of her supporters at the Harare International airport.

Mangongera feels Bona’s presence around her 91 year old father was to ensure the aging leader did not suffer the same misfortune.

“My suspicion is that if the first Lady did not travel with the President, then her (Bona) presence might have more to do with health issues more than anything else.

“Mugabe now needs constant care because of his frailty and l think the family is providing that so even in that meeting she might have been on the lookout for any fall.”

United Kingdom based Zimbabwean journalists weighs in, saying Mugabe could be preparing his humble mannered daughter for high stakes politics.

“He certainly has plans to usher her into public life and most probably, harbours ambitions for her to one day lead Zimbabwe,” said Chofamba Sithole in a Facebook post.

“…the young woman is ready to dive into the rough and tumble of mainstream politics. Expect to see more, not less of her from now on, and to see her delivering speeches – perhaps even on behalf of her father!”

But Zanu PF loyalist Tafadzwa Musarara dismissed speculation around Bona’s strange presence at a state meeting saying there was nothing unusual about that.

“That is stupidity for one to think that way how many times did Bill Clinton come out appearing in state functions with his daughter?” he said.

“There is no evidence she actively participated there. She was simply sitting next to her father that’s it. What’s the difference between her and her mother who always appears with her husband.

“It has happened all over the world. In England we have seen the queen during state functions sitting next to her grandchildren and you guys have never made an issue out of it.”

Source : New Zimbabwe