A total of US$25 million was set aside for government trips but observers say the amount will reach US$50 million if Mugabe continues on his foreign escapades with his bloated entourage.
Singapore and Malaysia seem to be the president’s favoured destination as he spent almost a month in January in the Far East on his annual holiday.
Mugabe was again in Singapore in the second week of February for almost a week following an illness, which was later claimed to be a cataract operation.
Others, however, maintain the president was afflicted with cancer and had gone for treatment.
At the time they were complaints that Mugabe’s frequent trips were paralysing the work of government, as cabinet meetings were not being held in his absence.
Mugabe then said if government work was disrupted then they would have to hold cabinet meetings twice a week, however, a cabinet source said this had not been done up to now.
In March Mugabe was again in Singapore for five days for a review of his cataract operation.
Immediately the veteran leader then attended the African Union Summit in Ethiopia in March for two days.
He was also in Zambia for the Sadc Troika meeting to discuss Zimbabwe in Livingstone Zambia.
In April Mugabe was in Singapore again for four days this time to attend to his ailing wife.
Then Mugabe had left under a cloud as Grace’s illness had been a mystery until The Standard revealed that the First Lady had a hip problem.
A staunch Catholic Mugabe at the end of April Mugabe was in Rome for the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
Others however claim it was a time for Mugabe to score brownie points on the European Union at a time the bloc had slapped him with travel sanctions.
In May Mugabe was in the air again for two days attending the swearing in of Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni.
That same month he attended the swearing in of Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan.
For eight days last month Mugabe was in Malaysia for the Langkawi Smart Partnership dialogue, another even which analysts describe as little more than a talk shop as the country is yet to reap anything from it.
He was also in Namibia and South Africa for Sadc summits in those two countries and collectively he stayed for more than a week.
Presently Mugabe is in Equatorial Guinea for an AU Summit and as usual he has a bloated delegation following him
A cabinet source revealed that Mugabe’s trips had been discussed though figures were not disclosed.
The source revealed that when the president travelled, he could draw as much money as he wanted from treasury.
Within the first three months Mugabe had spent half the budget allocated to government travel activities in 2011.
This travel budget sums up to $25 million – more than the government spends for health care measures for all its public servants.
Higher civil servants and ministers are instructed to cancel all foreign journeys if not urgently required.