Political analysts and veteran politicians have scoffed at critics of Presidential international trips saying it is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s diplomatic and political obligations to represent Zimbabwe at international forums in line with his re-engagement process.
The veteran politician has poured cold water on some media spin doctors and critics of recent Presidential foreign trips saying it is the duty of the President as Head of State and Government to fulfill all international diplomatic mission.
Cross gave examples of President Mnangagwa’s visits to Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as essential towards the new dispensation’s realignment drive to put Zimbabwe back on the world map.
“All trips by the President are very significant and essential, the spin by the independent press that the President’s trips are gobbling the fiscus are unfortunate. Look some of these mission are planned well six months before. The President has a diplomatic and political obligation to fulfill international mutual agreements, so all his trips are justified,” explains Cross.
Critics should also understand it is the norm worldwide and it is above board for Presidents to use a comfortable and efficient jet for his trips.
“The President should travel comfortably and on time so this issue of a hired jet, some are hired by his counterparts so it’s not fiscus money always, more so it is important like what happened when he had to trips to Russia and the UAE with the jet, it was fast for him to come back and attend to Cyclone Idai,” added Cross.
It’s tragic that some media spin doctors who do not understand the importance of foreign policy are at the forefront to criticise Presidential-trips at a time Cde Mnangagwa is championing the re-engagement process, notes chair for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs Kindness Paradza.
“It’s real tragic because President as Head of State and Government has a diplomatic mandate to fulfill, the President can delegate if he sees it wise to do so, but to stock him for driving the core business outside the country is some tragic, this is totally shameful,” Paradza retorts.
It is indisputable President Mnangagwa’s international trips have taken him to China where he signed mega deals which are in various stages of implementation.
Several mega deals have also been signed with Russia, while closer home more deals were entered into under the Bi-national Commissions with Botswana.
With the UAE, President Mnangagwa signed big deals before even receiving a helping hand comprising medical and food disaster relief aid distributed to the affected victims of Cyclone Idai.