Harare - Heartened no doubt by the enthusiastic welcome he got in Ghana, ageing President Robert Mugabe is finally back home to a flood-wrecked, restless Zimbabwe.
The state ZBC broadcaster announced the 93-year-old president's return late on Tuesday night. The official Herald newspaper said "hundreds" of Ghanaian journalists had thronged the president's Accra hotel to interview him as he attended the west African country's 60th anniversary celebrations. It was Mugabe's second foreign trip in a week after a visit to his doctors in Singapore - and that has brought the president criticism from a number of Zimbabweans.
Tweeted prominent journalist @BrezhMalaba: "He's back on home soil. But how many hours before he flies off again? Just one load of Jet A1 can build new homes for flood-hit villagers." The CEO Magazine Zimbabwe asked: "Is he aware that there were floods in Zim. A concerned person wld take the time to visit the area & affected [people]".
The full extent of Zimbabwe's damage from recent floods is still emerging. At least 900 people are currently being housed in a camp for flood victims in the southern Tsholotsho district, eyewitness reports Wednesday said. A report in the Bulawayo-based Sunday News said that 17 children from a school in Binga district were injured when their classroom fell on them during the recent rains. In Hwange district it's emerged that two preschoolers drowned in a ditch, the paper said.
Meantime in a move almost certain to intensify anger among poorly-paid doctors, the government's permanent health secretary Gerald Gwinji announced in a statement that junior doctors who took part in a just-ended strike could be forced to repeat part of their training and have their holidays docked.