Mnangagwa blows millions on China trip – report

2018-04-04 09:41
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) stands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (File, AFP)

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) stands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (File, AFP)

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly splashed out on his recent trip to China and spent at least $2.3m.

According to NewsDay, the president snubbed the troubled national airline for a more expensive private jet.

"Air Zimbabwe had offered to take the presidential delegation to China for $1,9m but government opted for a luxurious private jet owned by Switzerland-based aviation management company, Comlux at a cost of $2,3m.

"This probably excludes costs related to the crew for the eight days of the president's state visit to China," a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying.

The internationally-recognised rating agent S&P Global, said Comlux was rated as an integrated group in the aviation sector.

It specialised in Airbus and Boeing, with the former typically chartered by heads of state, royal families, business leaders or sports teams.

The aircraft includes a private bedroom with an en suite bathroom, office, dining room and living room, and a room for entourage and staff. It has cargo space for more than 250 bags and can transport multiple cars.

The aircraft can travel for at least 15 hours without stop, making an ideal plane for the president, News Day reported.

According to Daily News, Mnangagwa has travelled to several other African countries, which include South Africa and Angola.

Mnangagwa hired a private jet to Davos, Switzerland in January and during a trip to South Africa late last year.

Last year, his controversial predecessor Robert Mugabe was reported to have spent more time travelling than he did at home.

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Mugabe become known as the visiting president after his office spent more than $50m on foreign travel last year, official figures show.

But, presidential spokesperson George Charamba defended the president's trips and said he took issue with people who used numerals and who did not focus on the purpose behind the trips instead.

Charamba also said a cost benefit analysis justified the president's jet-setting because the country needed to rebrand.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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