Mugabe arrives in NY 'with bloated delegation of over 70' – report

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Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)
Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

Washington – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly arrived in New York for the United Nations General Assembly amid reports that he travelled with a bloated entourage of over 70 people, including his family.

Reports last week said that the United States had queried the inclusion of Mugabe's family on his entourage of more than 70 people to the United Nations summit scheduled for this week.

The general assembly was expected to run from September 19-23 and would be held under the theme: "Focusing on People Striving for Peace and Decent Life for All on Sustainable Planet."

The US embassy queried the inclusion of Mugabe's family, namely the First Lady Grace Mugabe, their daughter Bona and grandson Simbanashe on Mugabe's entourage. The delegation also included Mugabe's son Bellarmine Chatunga as well as Russell Goreraza, Grace’s eldest son.

News Day report said that the veteran leader's delegation was set to blow over $10 million in allowances at a time when the country was facing a crippling cash shortages. 

"Passports were submitted last week for visa applications at the US embassy, but officials queried the number of delegates and declined to offer a visa to one of the journalists from the state media," Business Africa quoted a source as saying last week.

Mugabe was expected to address the world leaders on September 21.

A Voice of America report said that the 93 year-old Zimbabwean leader normally took to the UN stage to criticise the West for imposing targeted sanctions against him and his inner circle for human rights violations and suspected election rigging.

While in New York the nonagenarian was not allowed to travel outside a radius prescribed by the United States government, the report said. 

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