Zimbabwe ex-president Robert Mugabe had to reduce 38-member entourage during S’pore visit

Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa had to call Mugabe himself to do that.

By Martino Tan | January 27, 2018

In December 2017, we learnt that Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was in Singapore for a health check.

Apparently, it was the first time the 93-year-old was seen in public since the army forced him from office in November 2017.

Mugabe visits S’pore hospital after getting kicked out of power in Zimbabwe

Mugabe had ruled the southern African nation for 37 years.

Mugabe’s retirement package

AFP reported in Dec. 28, 2017 that Mugabe will be given a residence, a car fleet and private air travel as part of a new government-funded retirement package.

He was also entitled to at least 20 staff members, including six personal security guards, all paid for by the government.

Zimbabwe dictator-president Robert Mugabe spent 90th birthday in S’pore undergoing eye surgery

Mugabe gives entourage a new meaning

Mugabe gets into a car as his entourage looks on at the Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore on December 15, 2017. Getty Images

Unfortunately, 20 staff members were insufficient for Mugabe’s trip to Singapore.

Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa told The Financial Times (Jan. 19) that he had an awkward conversation with Mugabe, as he was asked to sign off on the 38-member passenger list for a state-funded flight to Singapore.

At the end of the 30-minute phone call, Mnangagwa, 75, asked:

“Chef, you are going for a medical check-up. Why do you want 38 people?”

Mugabe replied and told him that he didn’t know that list — he only know that “it’s myself, my wife and my family”.

In the end, poor Mugabe had to reduce his 38-member entourage.

He took a 767 to Singapore and back for just 22 people.

Top photo from Ting Wei Toh, AFP, Getty Images

About Martino Tan

Martino’s parents named him after an Italian priest, Vatican's 1st ambassador to S’pore. He's inspired by the lives of Robert Kennedy & D. Bonhoeffer, the words of G.Orwell & T.Sorensen, & the music of the Beatles.

Morning Commute

Interesting stories to discuss with your colleagues in office later