Mugabe off to Mali - report

2015-05-15 06:47
President Robert Mugabe. (File, AFP)

President Robert Mugabe. (File, AFP)

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Harare - Hours after he urged graduating police officers to step up the fight against white-collar crime, President Robert Mugabe left Zimbabwe again on yet another foreign trip, this time to Mali, the state Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported.

Mugabe, 91, only returned from Russia on Tuesday.

The longtime leader has made 10 trips outside the country since mid-January, at a cost estimated by the privately-owned Standard newspaper on Sunday to be $50m.

Some Zimbabweans have dubbed him the “Visiting Leader”.

Thursday’s trip will see Mugabe attend the signing of a peace deal on Friday between Mali's Tuareg-led rebels and the government in Bamako, ZBC said.

Reports from Mali said that although a preliminary peace agreement was signed on Thursday, it was not clear if all groups in the rebel Coordination of Azawad Movements alliance will sign the final deal on Friday.

‘Cut down’

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says Mugabe should cut down on his foreign trips. But the ruling Zanu-PF party says the trips are part of his work as current head of the African Union and the regional SADC grouping.

Former education minister David Coltart tweeted this week: "Currently we are spending more on presidential travel than we are on running schools = falling maths & science skills."

Earlier on Thursday, Mugabe told nearly 700 police officers at a pass-out parade in Harare: "Police training should include advanced computer forensic and other advanced investigative and analytical techniques."

His comments were screened on the main evening TV news bulletin.

The president was also reported to have said police should investigate "any cases of corruption and abuse of office”.

Top opposition official Elton Mangoma was arrested this week on charges of flouting tender procedures when he was energy minister in a coalition government more than three years ago.

His party believes the charges are politically-motivated.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  mali  |  west africa  |  southern africa

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