Mugabe arrives back from Singapore then flies off to Ghana
Zimbabwe’s globe-trotting 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe left Harare for Ghana early this morning to attend that country’s 60th uhuru celebrations.
On Sunday morning, Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko welcomed Mugabe when he returned home from Singapore where he had gone for what was officially described as a “scheduled medical review”.
Ghana gained its independence on March 6, 1957 under the leadership of Dr Kwame Nkrumah when he was famously quoted as saying: “The independence of Ghana is meaningless, until it is linked with the total liberation of Africa.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said that President Mugabe was attending the celebrations as a special guest.
“His Excellency, the President, was invited as a special guest and of course you know how we have always had close relations with Ghana as a country and of course, Ghana has that distinction of being the first Sub-Sahara African nation to achieve independence 60 years tomorrow (today),” he said.
Presidential spokesperson and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Mr George Charamba said Ghana was a torch- bearer of African independence.
“For us, Ghana is a symbol of African freedom struggles and independence and by going back to Ghana, His Excellency is associating himself with the politics and persuasion of Ghana in the context of Africa’s struggles for independence,” he said.
“Secondly, the President had a teaching stint in Ghana soon after its independence, so there is an emotional attachment in his return there besides the marital factor.
“Because of the President’s presence in Ghana at that critical time, he became a vector through which Ghana’s pan-African politics and instruments of the struggle were introduced into nationalist politics in the then Rhodesia.”
Responding to criticism that Mugabe was draining national coffers by travelling a lot, Charamba said; “They are forgetting their mantra argument where they claim that His Excellency is very ill, yet he has touched down this (yesterday) morning and he is leaving later today to fulfil another State fixture.
“So, that puts paid to any claims that the President is very ill. In fact, he is so well that he beats even the youngest politicians. Secondly, what they should know is that diplomacy costs. It is a legitimate spending that makes nations states. Diplomacy does not come cheap, especially when it comes from a country of such significance as Ghana.”