Zim needs answers on China trip expenses

Source: Zim needs answers on China trip expenses – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 9, 2018

LAST week, pictures of some Cabinet ministers and President Emmerson Mnangagwa and their supposed children in China emerged, raising questions on what their offspring was doing on a government trip.

The government is yet to issue any statement about what happened on that trip, but from the look of things, the government officials were accompanied by the children, raising the question: Who funded their jaunt?

Already, there were question marks on the trip’s expenses, with question marks on why Mnangagwa had to hire a luxury plane at so much expense to the taxpayer.

It, therefore, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when Zimbabweans realise that Mnangagwa and his ministers may also have taken their children on the trip and this could have further burdened the taxpayer.

Mnangagwa’s adviser, Christopher Mutsvangwa issued a limp statement on why they had to hire a luxury plane for the China trip and we wait to hear what he has to say about the officials who took their children on that journey.

If they were going there on private business, then they had no business being with the Zimbabwe delegation and in one case, one of them announced that they had signed deals in China.

From the look of things, it is unfortunate that Mnangagwa seems to be carrying on with his predecessor, Robert Mugabe’s traits, where his children and family often accompanied him on trips funded by the State.

On one such trip, Mugabe was pictured with his daughter, Bona Chikore, in Japan and this drew the nation’s anger, as she was not a government official and had no business being there.

It is in this regard that Mnangagwa and his government ought to explain what their children were doing on that trip and at whose expense they went there.

This explanation is demanded because there is real reason to believe they may have travelled on taxpayers’ money and, therefore, Zimbabweans need an explanation on how their money is used.

If they did not travel on taxpayers’ money, then that explanation will help clear things up and answer all the questions people may have.

That is what accountability entails, answering to the public on matters they may have questions to.

There have been puerile attempts to draw parallels between United States President Donald Trump who sometimes travels with his daughter, Ivanka, but this is reaching of the worst kind, as Zimbabwe and the US have different circumstances and their needs differ in several ways.

Zimbabweans need answers on what happened on that trip, if not, then they will be convinced that the change they celebrated last year is just a façade.