Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mutsvangwa blames his boss for Grace Mugabe visa snub

Harare – Foreign Affairs deputy minister, Chris Mutsvangwa has launched a scathing attack on his boss, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, saying he embarrassed the First Lady Grace Mugabe by applying for her Belgian travel visa, knowing very well this would be rejected. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and his deputy Chris Mutsvangwa
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and his deputy Chris Mutsvangwa

President Mugabe has decided to boycott the EU-AU summit in protest at his wife being denied a visa but according to Mutsvangwa “What the Minister and the PermSec did was ill advised,” he said.

“It was pointless for the two to apply for the visa of the first lady knowing fully well that it would be turned down. Why did they apply for the visa when there were indications she will not get a visa,” Mutsvangwa argued.

“It’s a difficult ministry. There are only two people; Mumbengegwi and Bimha, I’m not part of the decision making, I’m new there. They run it the way they want, it’s a fiefdom at the foreign affairs ministry and no one knows what the two are doing. But the decisions they make have a bearing on the nation.

“Let me tell you that I’m coming from a revolutionary background with an impeccable record, having fought in the liberation struggle when the minister (Mumbengegwi) was at the margins of the war, sitting somewhere in Europe enjoying the hospitality of the imperialist and the PermSec (Bimha) was working in the then Muzorerwa Regime,” he said.

“So if you put that into perspective, that makes them my juniors. So as a revolutionary and as a comrade, I would not have put my first lady in a position where she is denied visa by foreign countries,” Mutsvangwa said.

The EU removed most individuals and companies linked to the Mugabe regime from their targeted sanctions list but retained Mugabe and his wife. The sanctions were put in place in response to gross human rights abuses.