via Return home, Mugabe told – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba 5 JANUARY 2014
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has savaged President Robert Mugabe for going on holiday at a time the country is faced with a serious economic crisis and a pressing challenge to align all laws with the new Constitution.
The Zimbabwe president left for the Far East on a scheduled holiday trip last Saturday, a local television station reported, amid growing tension over the flagging economy and failure to align statutes to the new Constitution.
Government and party officials said the president was entitled to his holiday.
George Charamba, the presidential spokesperson said Mugabe was expected back in Zimbabwe mid January.
In the meantime, Vice President Joice Mujuru is the acting President. Mugabe’s often month-long leave has crippled government operations. His opponents said the former teacher should not have left for a “luxurious” holiday at a time the country was mired in crisis.
Douglas Mwonzora,the MDC spokesperson, described Mugabe’s holiday as “immoral and abnormal.”
Citing a biting liquidity crunch, cash flight and unfulfilled constitutional requirements, Mwonzora said a serious president should have adopted a hands-on approach to deal with the country’s problems rather than go gallivanting on a holiday.
“The seriousness of the situation calls for extraordinary remedies as it is of extreme emergency,” Mwonzora told the Daily News this week.
“In normal countries, this would see extraordinary meetings of the Cabinet to deal with the problems using a hands-on approach. Parliament should also be meeting to deal with the alignment of all laws with the Constitution as well as provide oversight to State institutions.”
Didymus Mutasa, Presidential Affairs minister, said Mugabe’s absence does not change anything as the ruling party was seized with resolving the economic challenges.
“Tell them (MDC) that they are insane, vanopenga (they are mad),” Mutasa told the Daily News.
Asked if Zanu PF appreciates the gravity of the problems confronting the country, Mutasa retorted: “That is what we are grappling with. Do you think the problems will get better because the president is here or not?”
The MDC accused the veteran Zanu PF leader of abandoning his duties as the executive president.
“This holiday is a sign of clear negligence by the president,” Mwonzora said.
“He is the wielder of executive powers and he should have used his powers for the benefit of the people who are living in poverty.”
The MDC, which disputes results of last year’s July general elections won by Mugabe, is pushing for a snap election.
It contends that the Zanu PF leader is no longer physically fit to confront the rigours of presidency.
“The fact that the president leaves the country at such a time shows that he is no longer fit to meet the daily demands of his office”, Mwonzora said.
“The selection of (vice president Joice) Mujuru is a further indictment that there is no direction, because she has no power to convene Cabinet meetings.”
“Cabinet never sits in Mugabe’s absence.”