Robert Mugabe, former president of Zimbabwe continues to make news headlines, even in retirement. For the man [Mugabe] who his people have affectionate memory for his liberation struggle for independent Zimbabwe, he will be enjoying a luxury life in retirement as former President of his country. This is according to a Gazette published by President Emmerson Mnangagwe, his successor.
The Gazette titled: “Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits [Services and Facilities for Former Presidents] Notice 2017” takes immediate effect. It states that Zimbabwean leaders from 1987 are entitled to enjoy the benefits. Mugabe has been the sole President of the country since 1980 and will be the first to benefit from the provisions of the gazette.
The Gazette states that Robert Mugabe will be entitled to no less that six security personnel, two drivers, two private secretaries, two aide-de-camp, and two office attendants. His private office will be fully furnished and equipped with a landline telephone, a cell phone, two computers, and other materials to be determined by the President.
Mugabe will earn housing allowance to be determined by the President, or provided a single private residence acquired or constructed on his behalf at his choice place in Zimbabwe, or payment of a lump sum equal to the value of the private residence. This is in addition to the Blue Roof Palace in Harare where Mugabe is already living. The benefit will also accrue to his surviving spouse or dependent child up to the age of 21 years.
The Gazette further states: “With respect to private residence, the property shall be constructed on land which in total may not exceed 5 000 square metres. The residence, if it was to be built, should not exceed a reasonably sized house with five bedrooms, a guest wing with three bedrooms, a study, swimming pool, two guardrooms and two garages”.
Mugabe will enjoy the services of three domestic employees, two gardeners, two cooks, two waiters and two laundry persons. Mugabe, his wife [Grace] and dependent children will enjoy medical aid allowance – likely free medical treatment. Mugabe and Grace will be entitled to diplomatic passports, first class air and rail tickets within the country and outside — maximum of four trips annually.
Mugabe will be provided with a Sedan — Mercedes Benz S500 Series or an equivalent class of car, one four-wheel drive station wagon or equivalent and a pickup van. His security personnel and other staff are entitled to vehicles — the number of vehicles will be determined by the President.
Government bears the cost of fueling all the vehicles. The vehicles are replaceable every five years. Mugabe will not bear the cost of utilities such as water, electricity, telephone, both at home and his office. Government will pay the bills.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, at his inauguration, promised reforms in Zimbabwe. Could he be his country’s game changer after 37 years of Mugabe’s presidency, which saw the country moved downward in economic and social life?