President off to Japan

President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe bid farewell to Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko before their departure for Japan at Harare International Airport yesterday. - Picture by Tawanda Mudimu

President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe bid farewell to Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko before their departure for Japan at Harare International Airport yesterday. – Picture by Tawanda Mudimu

Felex Share Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe left the country for Japan yesterday on an official working visit that will see Government solidifying its Look East Policy by boosting investment and economic cooperation deals.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended the invitation to President Mugabe as the Asian country also seeks to develop new markets for its firms in Zimbabwe.

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko is Acting President.

President Mugabe, who was accompanied by First Lady Dr Amai Grace Mugabe and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, service chiefs and Cabinet ministers.

Apart from investment issues, Prime Minister Abe is also pursuing a robust discussion with President Mugabe on the United Nations Security Council reforms.

During his stay in Japan, the President has a packed programme in which he is expected to meet PM Abe, who will also host a dinner for him.

President Mugabe — according to the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry — is also expected to make a State call on their Majesties the Emperor of Japan, Akihito and the Empress Michiko.

The couple will also host a court luncheon for the President and the First Lady.

PM Abe has, on several occasions, appealed for Africa’s support to back Japan’s bid for a seat in the UN Security Council.

The Asian giant belongs to the Group of Four (G4), which has Germany, India and Brazil — countries which have mutually supported one another’s bids for permanent seats in the Security Council.

The G4 members have proposed reform in the UN Security Council to include an additional six permanent seats, four going to them and two reserved for African countries.

Only five nations – China, Russia, France, Britain and the United States – have permanent seats and veto powers, which enable them to prevent the adoption of any “substantive” draft Council resolution, regardless of the level of international support for the draft.

President Mugabe has always made a strong pitch for the UN Security Council reform saying the organisation had become a forum where “some are giants”, while the rest have been “made dwarfs”.

His master-stroke came at the African Union Summit in Ethiopia in January, when he said African nations would walk away from the organisation if the West continued to block efforts to reform and democratise the body.

President Mugabe last visited Japan in March last year for the United Nations Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, where he also met PM Abe.

Their deliberations this time are expected to check progress made on the economic co-operation front as well as strengthening existing bilateral relations.

After slightly over a decade of frosty relations, Japan is slowly warming up to Zimbabwe and PM Abe last year pledged millions of dollars to Zimbabwe for disaster preparation and risk management.

He is also appealing for President Mugabe’s support to ensure smooth preparations of the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) V1 to be held in Kenya in August.

This is the first time the meeting is being held outside Japan.

Early this month, PM Abe dispatched a special envoy to Harare officially inviting President Mugabe to attend TICAD V1 meeting.

Following President Mugabe’s meeting with Japan International Cooperation Agency (jica) president Mr Akehiko Tanaka and discussions on technical co-operation last year, the agency has extended a $15 million grant to Zimbabwe for the development of the 674 hectares of Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme in Nyanga.

JICA is an agency that co-ordinates official development assistance for the Government of Japan.

Over the period 1997-2000 the Japanese government funded phase one of the irrigation development for Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme at a cost of about $51,8 million.

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  • Mabwe

    May God richly bless the leader of our people – may God give him wisdom, wealth and good health. Amen.

  • titusO

    Rocky waters Mr mugabe, very rocky waters! China is watching you

  • Ziso

    Point of correction Mr. Editor. Japan is Western!

  • Japana Hapana

    The story sounds like Abe is the one strongly wanting something from Mugabe. But why does Mugabe have to fly all the way to Japan instead of the other way round? He can’t wait to run away from all the mess he has created

  • Mazomba

    Kikikiki, there’s bound to be someone paranoid enough to test one of their short range surface-to-air missiles if they see an American made plane in their DPRK skies!

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Kutsvaga uta nemugate

  • Isac Hunt

    This is a shopping trip for the family, nothing more, what a waste of money.

  • succuba

    You are right of course, China (eastern) and Japan (western) are almost on a war footing, they both hate each other, if Mugabe is seen to be doing business there it could be very tricky for further help from the “look East” policy.


    • succuba

      Mmmm… you didn’t seem to want to print my full post!!!

      I wonder why that is?

      Please explain Mr Editor.

      • theheraldonline

        Had something censored?

        • succuba

          Edited got double post… apologies

        • succuba

          Why? It’s in the public domain for all to see.

          I thought this paper allowed free speech and news…. sadly I am wrong.

          • theheraldonline

            In this thread i do not see anything censored succuba. What is Theheraldonline without succuba dear? Kindly repost the comment if we missed it somehow.

          • succuba

            Ahh… thank you kind sir, my faith in you has been restored.

            The part of the comment removed was the part that answered Tongoona pertaining to the tracking of a flight last night from HRE (Zimbabwe).

            I merely pointed out to him that the flight left HRE at 6:05 pm last night, it did not go to Japan but went to (SIN) Singapore instead, where it is still there today.

            Thank You

          • theheraldonline

            Cool succuba. Good day hey.

          • succuba

            Pleasantries accepted and accordingly returned.

            Have a good one.

          • Observer gonzo

            I thought this was a good platform for Herald to receive crucial feedback on how people are reading and receiving their articles. The over-zealousness of the moderator has put me off like many others so we just reserve our comments or comment on the same article on relatively balanced The Chronicle! You will soon drop out and leave enough space for the likes of those muzvinavhu, lots to tickle the ears of the editor.

          • theheraldonline

            I thought we settled this with succuba? He did re-post the missing link and saw it elsewhere as I followed your discussions. Indeed this is a good platform Observer gonzo, which is why we have loosened up except for those who deliberately spam the platform in order to either smear others or merely frustrate.

  • Jonah15

    Phew that took long, I was wondering when the next trip by the Fist secretary was going to be on. Honestly the India trip was way back. I love the president he tells them don’t call me I will call you and don’t come I will come there pachezvangu.

    • Sadombo


  • Sengamo

    We noted Herald moderators graciously offered to quickly repost Cde succubu’s comments if parts are missing.
    Well here’s the censored part to replace the two ** on my comment above:-
    , perhaps a good opportunity to cash in some of the missing $15 billion diamonds?

    • Observer gonzo

      Sorry hako


    Kutakura ngwena huida vana vezimbabwe, musachema henyu.

  • Sadombo

    ** is the acting Prez

  • Nathan

    I recommend that all valued Herald readers to do the following:
    Go to Flightradar24 and check where UM1 went yesterday with the boss man, and where it still is: Singapore.

    Familiarise yourself with the conference programme for Bob. There is no real TCAD prep summit in Japan (at least we did not find any official summit note). The meetings that are mentioned in a Japanese newspaper are held between 27 and 31 March. So five day visit can’t be. Either Herald got the dates wrong or we are being lied to again.

    The most embarrassing, however, is that the Presiidnet and/or the Herad think that this cold be ‘Look East’. Japan – despite being in the East, like Australia – is an arch enemy of China, and traditionally aligned with ‘the West’. He is trampling on some feet here and I wonder if he even notices. Or if the Herald notices. Who knows. In the end, the President would fly anywhere including Britain and US as long as he can stop over in or cover up a trip to Singapore.


  • nelson moyo

    why was my post not put up Mr Editor !!?

    • theheraldonline

      Our terms and conditions of use are clear on the posting of urls here nelson moyo. Please refer to the terms at the bottom of the site.

  • nelson moyo

    Hon Robert G Mugabe left Harare on 23 March for Japan – 10 hours & 11 minutes later he arrived in Singapore on 24 March aboard Air Zimbabwe flight UM1 – B 762 ( Z- WPF). Singapore is known as a tourist hub as well as a financial & medical centre.

    • succuba

      It looks like the Herald police have blocked my reply to you nelson even though they were no breach of terms & conditions.

      Looks like they are suffering from paranoia.

      It appears that the very mention of a second home for someone is a state secret.

  • wenjere

    Who really cares where the President and his lackies go on his useless trips? He does so little in the country when he is here – he may as well stay away. He will not be missed – except by his elite crony kleptocrats who get favours from him. The state is a joke. Seriouisly
    I send this the third time as the Herlald censors just delete it.

    • DK

      Iwe wenjere, ziva zvekushanda kwako kuRhodes University kuSasaFrica uko. Even if Mugabe stays away, then what when you are in SasaFrica. We need here in Zim., with your own Zuma ikoko. Mugabe is a legend!