Zimbabwe's geriatric dictator, Robert Mugabe, and his family of lavish spenders are reportedly vacationing in Malaysia amid speculation that he is planning to live here in exile.
The Saturday Star newspaper said Mugabe’s wife, Grace - who went with their four children to Malaysia before Christmas - had organised a transfer of 92,000 dollars from Zimbabwe’s central bank.
Mugabe, who followed on last Monday, was using the vacation for routine health checks, while his personal doctor had also helped organise transfer of personal funds to Malaysia and also Singapore.
The 84-year-old’s vacation, due to last a month, comes as the former model African state endures the toughest economic and political crisis in its history.
Hyper-inflation has prompted the central bank to issue a new 50 billion-Zimbabwe-dollar note. Acting Finance Minister Patrcik Chinamasa today announced the note - enough to buy two loaves.
In addition to chronic food shortages and lack of drinking water, Zimbabwe remains in the grip of a cholera epidemic in which at least 1,700 people have reportedly died, with some 35,000 infected.
Mugabe's oriental-style mansion has been under construction for over five years. It recently saw controversy when Mugabe said in an interview with Sky News that Malaysia had donated timber used in the construction. The opposition in the Malaysian parliament hascalled for a probe into the donation.