Home » General » President Mugabe and Retinue Off to Botswana

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe Tuesday flew out to Botswana where he was set to meet the Sadc secretariat in Gaborone.

Mugabe, who is Sadc chairperson, was making his first visit since assuming the chairmanship last year.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said the visit was routine.

“It’s a requirement that the chairperson of Sadc must visit the headquarters during the course of his tenure so he is fulfilling that,” said Charamba.

Mugabe is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. The Sadc chair is expected to address staff at the headquarters as part of his familiarisation tour.

He is also expected to call on the host country President Ian Khama who is his deputy and the incoming chair of the regional bloc.

The 91-year old leader has been in and out of the country on several occasions of late.

His foreign trips have come with a cost to the Zimbabwean tax payer.

According to officials in the department of foreign affairs, whenever the President is on Sadc mission, the regional bloc pays for his flight and takes care of all the expenses although the dry treasury has to chip in and pay allowances for the aides.

Mugabe is known to keep a large retinue which includes members of the CIO close security unit, state journalists, personal doctors, foreign affairs staff, body guards and other hangers on.

Travelling with the president is many a government official’s wish because of the allowances and other privileges it comes with. In most cases those that travel with Mugabe enjoy the privilege of re-entering the country without being searched.

Source : New Zimbabwe