Mugabe calls off trip as guest of honour, amid political turmoil in Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe is also said to have "abandoned" his duties. Meanwhile, the central bank has said that people will be paid partly in bonds.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has called off his trip to Ghana due to unspecified reasons, according to a report on Friday.

However, according to Citi FM, the embattled Mugabe has called off the trip due to the ongoing political turmoil in the southern African country.

Unnamed sources at the Zimbabwean embassy in Accra said that the long-time ruler had cancelled the trip due to domestic political issues in his country.

Mugabe was expected to be a guest of honour, and deliver a lecture at a prestigious event that would award various people with the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize.

The event organisers, Millennium Excellence Foundation, claimed that the cancellation was due to reasons beyond their control.

In recent months Zimbabwe has been hit by a wave of protests, as Zimbabweans demanded that the government act on the ongoing economic hardships.

Mugabe “abandons” duties due to failing health
Reports indicated that the southern African country came to an abrupt standstill after Zimbabweans downed tools in July.

Many businesses, shops and schools were closed, while public transport and some government departments and courts also ceased to function.

Meanwhile, according to New Zimbabwe, in recent weeks the nonagenarian’s health has been failing, prompting authorities in the southern African country to fly in specialist doctors from Singapore.

Analyst Ken Yamamoto reportedly claimed that the Singaporean specialists were flown into the country ahead of the country’s two public holidays last week.

He further claimed that the nonagenarian had abandoned some of his duties, and would only walk into his office in the afternoon to attend to pressing matters.

” ... Mugabe now works 30 minutes a day, often coming to his office around 3pm and leaving half an hour or so afterwards to go home and sleep,” Yamamoto was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s central bank chief has admitted that people will be paid partly in bond notes, despite earlier claims the notes were to be an incentive for exporters.

“If you are getting a $400 salary, you will still get $400 in United States dollars, bond notes, rand or euros. If you don’t want them then you use plastic money,” central bank chief John Mangudya said in quotes carried by the official state newspaper the Daily Herald.

The bond notes are likely to be introduced around October. They are supposed to be at 1:1 parity with the US dollar.

Mangudya’s announcement in May that bond notes were to be introduced followed months of cash shortages.

His claim that they would be backed by a $200-million loan form the African Export-Import Bank has not reassured Zimbabweans who fear a return to the overprinting of the pre-2008 hyper-inflation era.

Earlier this week an opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) official said that the authorities could be stacking up as much as $2.5-billion in bond notes, but that figure will be hotly contested by the central bank. – News 24

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