Mugabe has no business at the G-20 summit in Turkey

Robert Mugabe

The Group of Twenty (also known as the G-20) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies of the world. Zimbabwe is not amongst the 20 major economies of the world and as such, we are not part of the G-20.

The G-20 include 19 individual countries that are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America; along with the European Union (EU). The G-20 represents 85% of the global economy. The tenth annual meeting of the G-20 heads of government is currently being held in the resort city of Antalya in Turkey.

Robert Mugabe and his huge delegation are also in Antalya supposedly to attend the G-20 in his capacity as the chairman of the African Union (AU). It is actually a gross embarrassment that Zimbabwe, currently ranked amongst the twenty poorest countries in the world, is also part and parcel of the ongoing G-20 summit in Turkey.

The official explanation given by the Zanu PF regime for Robert Mugabe’s attendance at the summit is that he is doing so in his capacity as the chairman of the AU. In fact, this is a very disgraceful and nebulous excuse for Mugabe to attend the G-20 summit. Accordingly, he is just at the fringes of the summit for the simple reason that Zimbabwe is not part of 20 major economies of the world. Mugabe is not in any way involved in the actual business of the discussions being conducted by the visiting heads of government. Effectively, he is just a bystander.

It therefore boggles the mind why Robert Mugabe and his wife, accompanied by a huge entourage of not less than 60 people, are in Antalya purportedly to attend the tenth annual meeting of the G-20.

Mugabe and his huge delegation had to charter an Air Zimbabwe jet to travel to Turkey notwithstanding that the national economy is presently in a comatose state and the government is struggling to pay salaries and bonuses for civil servants. Mugabe cannot be purporting to be representing Africa at the G-20 meeting because only one African country is a member of the G-20 and that country is South Africa. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is representing his country at the Antalya meeting.

Robert Mugabe has a penchant for costly foreign travel. In 2015 alone, he has embarked on no less than 40 foreign excursions at the expense of the national treasury that is virtually bankrupt. Even his annual leave and Christmas holidays are routinely spent in faraway places in the Far East. Instead of promoting local tourism by spending his holidays in Victoria Falls, Kariba or the Eastern Highlands, Robert Mugabe almost invariably travels to Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong for his annual holidays; at huge expense to the struggling exchequer.

As the MDC, we call upon Robert Mugabe to learn to cut his cloth according to his size. Because of the ruinous economic policies adopted by his regime over the years; coupled with rampant corruption and gross mismanagement, Zimbabwe has been reduced from being the bread basket of Southern Africa to becoming a basket case in a very short period of 35 years. Mugabe should be ashamed of the damage that has been brought upon the economy of Zimbabwe as a direct result of decades of his misrule.

To date, more than 80% of Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty and penury thanks to Robert Mugabe’s misrule and mismanagement. At least 5 million Zimbabweans have escaped to the Diaspora as economic refugees; in the past 15 years alone. Such has been the legacy of Robert Mugabe’s record of misrule, mismanagement and unmitigated corruption that to date, at least 2 million Zimbabweans are facing serious food shortages mainly because the agricultural sector has been decimated by a violent and ill - planned so - called land reform program.

It is thus a total shame and a serious national embarrassment that Robert Mugabe saw it fit to travel to Antalya, Turkey to attend the G-20 meeting.

MDC: Equal Opportunities for All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson
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President Tsvangirai heads to Mashonaland West

Morgan Tsvangirai

President Morgan Tsvangirai tomorrow heads to Mashonaland West where he will engage Zimbabweans and address several rallies in the province until Sunday.

Last month, the MDC leader engaged Zimbabweans in Mashonaland Central province. Tomorrow, President Tsvangirai will address his first rally at Maumbe business centre in Hurungwe Central before engaging Zimbabweans at another rally at Alaska in Chinhoyi on Friday. On Saturday, he will be at Dombwe in Chegutu East before winding his visit to the province on Sunday at Cassa Grounds in Zvimba East.

Tomorrow evening, the MDC leader will address the party’s policy dialogue at Coocksey hall in Chinhoyi.

The President’s continued engagement with Zimbabweans comes at a time when the political and economic situation in the country is deteriorating at an alarming rate. Zimbabweans can barely survive, with the party in government more worried about succession battles at the expense of finding a solution to the worsening crisis.

In Mashonaland West, the President will talk about the crisis as well as the MDC’s proposed solutions to the national predicament, including the Zanu PF failure to come up with a sustainable solution to power shortages characterized by 20-hour blackouts every day. Kariba dam, the major source of power of the country, is in Mashonaland West province.

Never one to miss an opportunity to interact with the ordinary people, President Tsvangirai will engage Zimbabweans across the vountry and listen to their concerns about what is happening in the country.

Luke Tamborinyoka
Presidential Spokesperson and Director of Communications
Movement for Democratic Change

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