via Makoni scorns at frequent flyer Mugabe – New Zimbabwe 23/04/2015
OPPOSITION Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader and former cabinet minister Simba Makoni has lashed out at his ex-boss President Robert Mugabe for “abandoning the nation”.
Mugabe has continuously been out of the country of late, attending international and regional meetings while the economy remains in the mire.
Makoni, a former member of the ruling party’s powerful communist style politburo before breaking away to front a party comprising disgruntled former Zanu PF members ahead of the 2008 elections, poked fun at the president on social networking site Twitter this week.
“The dull, wet conditions on April 18 represent the mood of the nation. No cheer on Independence Day. Even power went out in mid-game,” said Makoni on the conditions under which Mugabe gave his speech on the country’s national day last week.
Zimbabwe commemorated 35 years since the fall of Rhodesia in 1980, at which point Mugabe took over as Premier before assuming the executive presidency after a constitutional amendment in 1987.
Makoni in another post also poked fun at Mugabe for leaving the country for the umpteenth time this year, just two days after the independence celebrations.
“Straight from stadium, drenched wet, to the airport to jet out to Jarkata. Running away from home on Independence Day. Shame Shame!,” said Makoni.
The former finance minister and ex-Sadc secretary general also weighed in on the debate around Mugabe’s sudden and unexpected reversal of a policy position to scrap civil servants bonuses by treasury chief Patrick Chinamasa meant to “create fiscal space” as part of efforts to resuscitate the country’s ailing economy. Makoni also said Mugabe’s belated comments on the on-going xenophobic attacks in neighbouring South Africa that have claimed the lives of seven people including one Zimbabwean national had been an afterthought.
“Both comments on bonuses and xenophobia were off the cuff. Not in his mind at drafting of speech. Spur of the moment after thoughts! Shameful!,” he said.
Mugabe described both the xenophobic attacks and Chinamasa’s decision to scrap the annual bonuses to state employee for two years as “disgusting” adding the decision to announce the policy had been made without consulting the “presidency” that includes him and his two deputies, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
Chinamasa subsequently confirmed he had “jumped the gun” in making the announcement citing failure to follow “procedures”.