Mnangagwa tells government ministers to cut on foreign trips

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HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has told government ministers and senior officials in the country’s giant bureaucracy to cut back on foreign travels saying they unnecessarily disrupted the execution of government business.

Mnangagwa said this while presiding over his first cabinet meeting since his controversial re-election last month.

Often criticised for his own extravagant foreign excursions, Mnangagwa said foreign trips could only be undertaken if they were of “strategic importance” to the country.

He said no minister and their line permanent secretary could both be out of the country at the same time adding that the practice had negative implications on general government business.

“Further, travel outside the country will be strictly limited to those programmes which are of strategic importance and contribute to our country’s national priorities,” he said.

Mnangagwa’s own foreign travels have gobbled millions of US dollars with his latest trip to the UN general Assembly in New York seen among the most wasteful excursions.

The Zimbabwe incumbent flew a delegation of over 75 people on a hired jet, all glutted with fat travel allowances at the taxpayer’s expense.

Meanwhile, in his comments Tuesday, Mnangagwa said he reprimanded substantive ministers for what he said was their general resentment for their deputies.

“I am aware that in the past Cabinet, some ministers did not want deputy ministers. And the decision is mine not yours,” he said.

Mnangagwa, who recently appointed his son as finance deputy minister, told his government ministers to understand the role of their deputies.

“It is my expectation that the role of deputy ministers will correctly be understood as complementing your own in order to derive maximum benefit from their skills sets…”

Mnangagwa said the “relevant circular on the functions of Deputy Ministers will be availed for the benefit of all members concerned”. – ZimLive