Mugabe’s sixth trip to Singapore since the beginning of the year came amid revelations that the ageing leader demands at least US$3 million from Treasury each time he leaves the country.
Impeccable sources have revealed that soon after his return Mugabe will be off to Rome on Friday for a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) summit.
Grace Mugabe has been receiving treatment in Singapore since last month and this has forced her husband to travel to the Asian country frequently.
She allegedly dislocated her hip during a fall at their Borrowdale house sometime in March and doctors have been battling to rehabilitate her.
Her 87 year-old husband, according to his spokesman George Charamba, had an eye operation to remove a cataract in January also in Singapore.
Impeccable sources told.
The Standard that Mu-gabe’s handlers demand US$3 million from Finance minister Tendai Biti each time he leaves the country.
The money is believed to be for medical bills and travel expenses for his usually large entourage.
Mugabe is known for travelling with as many as 80 people as part of his entourage that are all given hefty allowances.
Sources in the inclusive government that spoke on condition of anonymity said Mugabe’s demands had become excessive and were threatening to cripple the cash-strapped coalition.
The sources said Biti had tried to stand his ground but was now forced to release substantial amounts after sustained pressure.
“The travelling expenses have shot up to an extent that they have gone out of hand,” the source said.
“They are now crippling government operations.
“The demands are unlawful and if you look at it they have gone there almost six times this year.
“However, Mugabe is not given the US$3 million he demands because the money is just not there.”
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Charamba were fruitless.
One of Biti’s major challenges since he took over the hot seat in 2009 has been to reduce money spent on foreign trips by the government but the MDC-T secretary general appears to be losing the war.