HARARE – President Robert Mugabe clashed with the Japanese embassy over the number of delegates who are attending the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai city, Nehanda Radio has learnt.
A top government official said the Japanese embassy wanted to process visas for only 42 officials including Mugabe but he insisted and took and entourage of over 100 people.
“The directive was that only 42 officials are supposed to attend but the president’s office had its list of officials who include the president, government officials and their security personnel,” said the source.
Another issue of contention between the embassy and Zimbabwe was on the departure dates.
Mugabe left on Tuesday, March 10 2015 while ministers who include local government minister Ignatious Chombo, Health minister David Parirenyatwa, foreign affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as well as government officials left on Wednesday.
The 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, an inter-governmental meeting, will run from March 14 to 18.
“We are returning on Friday March 20,” the source said.
This however is in direct contrast to the announcement made by another African leader who is also attending the same function.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta posted on his official Facebook wall that he will be away for only five days when he left his country, yesterday, Thursday March 12.
“I jetted out for a five day official visit to Japan to attend the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. We’ll discuss international strategies on disaster risk reduction and I’ll also hold talks with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aimed at bolstering relations between our two countries,” Kenyatta wrote.
According to top government officials, the latest trip in which Mugabe is travelling with a large entourage of almost 100 people would gobble almost US$1 million which can pay fees for 23 000 primary school children.