Zimbabwe's First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa. Picture: Mel Frykberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - As Zimbabwe’s fractured economy continues to struggle along, the recent return to Harare of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa on a private jet following her visit to Dubai has raised eyebrows.

Pindula News reported that she had been attending a meeting of the Merck Foundation in Dubai to discuss the marginalisation of women with infertility problems. Eleven other first ladies also attended.

The private jet the first lady returned on late Monday night was the same plane previously used by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It is not clear who footed the bill for hiring the plane, with presidential spokesperson George Charamba saying the government would pay.

But the president has disputed this, saying he is able to call the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan at any time and he would send a plane at no cost to Harare.

African News Agency/ANA