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OPPOSITION political parties and commentators yesterday launched scathing attacks on President Robert Mugabe for going to Zambian president's inauguration while elections were still being conducted in that country and results had not been announced.

In what could be a diplomatic gaffe, Mugabe arrived in Zambia on Friday, with the inauguration only being held yesterday morning.

Commentators said there was no dignity in what Mugabe did, and to make matters worse, he left for Zambia barely 24 hours after he arrived in Zimbabwe from a five-week-long holiday.

Veteran journalist and political commentator Methuseli Moyo said Mugabe was now a fulltime tourist.

"You see him arriving and departing. That is all he ever does. Clearly he is too old to appreciate what his main task as president is," he said.

Moyo said there was no money for salaries and instead of fixing the situation, he was preoccupied with flying.

"He is always itching to travel and make speeches while leaving his people hungry at home," he said.

Moyo said he was glad that people in Zambia, where he had attended the inauguration, were brave enough to demonstrate against him and tell him to go.

"Is he not ashamed that Zambians are electing a sixth president while he is the only ruler Zimbabweans have known during the corresponding period. I am sure he was even the first foreign dignitary to arrive. How ironic! Mugabe lives in his own world," he said.

MDC-Renewal spokesperson, Jacob Mafume described Mugabe's actions as mind-boggling.

"It is like a person who goes for a funeral of someone who is in hospital and waiting for them to die," he said. "Or someone who goes to a wedding where a man has not yet found a bride. It was in bad taste and against all forms of etiquette and protocol."

Mugabe was booked at Radisson Blu Hotel in the capital Lusaka, which incidentally was the base of the losing candidate, Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development.

On Saturday, huge crowds of Zambians chanted "Mugabe must go!" at the hotel.

A video of the demo showing scores of people waving hands in the air and chanting their protests went viral on social site, YouTube. It was not clear what sparked the demonstrations or who organised them.

It could not be established yesterday if the demonstrators had managed to get Mugabe's attention or if the president responded in any way.

Edgar Lungu narrowly beat Hichilema for the presidency.

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