via Mugabe off to Russia for ‘parade’ – New Zimbabwe 05/05/2015
RUSSIA will on Saturday hold its annual Victory Day parade, commemorating the end of World War II in Europe with President Vladmir Putin expected to show off his new Armata T-14 battle tank among other military hardware.
Some EU leaders are staying away, protesting Putin’s military adventures in Ukraine but China and India will attend, along with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.
NewZimbabwe.com understands the 91-year-old leader will leave Harare on Thursday for Moscow on another of his numerous and widely criticised foreign trips this year.
Mugabe returned home two weeks ago from Indonesia having, before that, travelled to Singapore twice and also visited Algeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Namibia, Japan and South Africa.
He now uses the cover of being African Union and SADC chaiperson to minister to his love for foreign travel.
Opposition parties say the cash-strapped administration cannot afford Mugabe’s globe-trotting which, they add, brings back little by way of meaningful returns for the country.
But Mugabe may not be travelling to Moscow to marvel at Putin’s new battle tanks.
The Zanu PF leader publicly pretends otherwise but he is keenly aware that the country’s economic malaise is getting worse and that he is running out of time to find solutions nearly two years after he was re-elected for another five year term.
Despised by the West, Mugabe has been looking to China and Russia for investment and much-needed financial assistance to help pull Zimbabwe out of its economic problems.
He AU and SADC chairman met his Chinese counterpart during his recent trip to Indonesia but little emerged about progress in the implementation of the so-called mega-deals.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin also massaged Mugabe’s ego by dispatching foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to Harare last September in a high profile visit during which the Russian announced plans to build a $3 billion platinum mine in the country.
It is possible that, while in Moscow over the weekend, Mugabe will be saying ‘how far’ to Putin regarding the platinum project and other promises Lavrov made.