Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has begun his annual month long vacation in the Far East, days after firing his deputy and reshuffling his cabinet.\r\n\r\nThe trip is set to trigger the traditional speculation over Mugabe’s health, as the Zimbabwean strongman’s annual holidays have been characterised by death rumours.\r\nHe left the country on Sunday with his wife Grace and set to return on 15 January, leaving newly appointed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as acting president.\r\n\r\nReports indicate that Mnangagwa is eyeing the presidency.\r\n\r\nHowever, it is the financing of Mugabe’s vacation that has come under the spotlight.\r\n\r\nThe costs of the trips — borne by taxpayers — are difficult to measure, but they are expensive amid indications he gobbles up millions of dollars per trip.\r\n\r\nSince he was slapped with Western sanctions over charges of gross human rights violations and electoral fraud, Mugabe has turned to the East, making Asia his primary vacationing destination.\r\n\r\nHe has also paid frequent visits, particularly to Singapore, reportedly to receive treatment for advanced cancer.\r\n\r\nAccording to official figures at hand, Mugabe’s office has chewed well over million of the ,4 billion 2014 national budget.\r\n\r\nThe money has been spent on travel, entertainment, cars and residences maintenance.\r\n\r\nThe million spent on Mugabe alone is significantly higher than the money spent on schools, 5 000 and awareness on HIV and Aids, one of the country’s biggest killers, received a mere 0 000.\r\n\r\nThe figures represent an enormous sum for a country where the majotrity of the population struggles to have one meal a day.\r\n\r\nThe government spent million on medical equipment for all the country’s hospitals.\r\nForeign trips costs amounted to million, but only 0 000 was spent on TB drugs for the entire country.\r\n\r\nThe ,3 million spent on travel and residences so far in 2014 is 75 times more than the 1 000 of capital spending on every school in Zimbabwe.\r\n\r\nFurthermore, statistics indicate that was 4 000 was spent on vehicles and mobile equipment for the president’s office, 5 000 on salaries for the president and vice-president but only ,000 was spent on adult literacy.-Africa Report