Former Minister of Finance and leader of the People’s Democratic Party Tendai Biti has accused President Robert Mugabe’s aides and subordinates of deliberately creating foreign trips which Mugabe has to attend. The aides do this in order to benefit from the huge daily allowances (per diems) they get when on foreign duty.
In an interview with Violet Gonda on the Hot Seat program, Biti said:
And part of the problem is not just Robert Mugabe; part of the problem is the entourage around him which makes a killing when they travel with him because their per diems increase. So they deliberately create these trips, they deliberately make him a permanent resident of the skies in order to loot Zimbabwe.
So it is the bureaucracy around him which is also culpable, but you know, in other countries, the issue of per diems that is given to a Head of State, must be returned when he comes, but one of the criminal things in Zimbabwe is that he takes US$ 4 million – he doesn’t bring it. So it’s really criminal that we have schools that have no lights in Zimbabwe, we have schools where students and pupils are sharing classrooms with animals, yet a single Presidential trip can cover more than 10 schools. It’s criminal and unacceptable.
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