Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Anger over Mugabe’s lavish package

By Farayi Machamire

Deposed former president Robert Mugabe’s eye-watering exit package has triggered widespread anger among ordinary Zimbabweans and opposition groups alike — who say it is outrageous that a man who presided over the country’s political and economic collapse should “cream it” like this.

Slumbering: Mugabe, 93, at a graduation ceremony on Friday (AFP Getty Images)
Slumbering: Mugabe, 93, at a graduation ceremony on Friday (AFP Getty Images)

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for close to four decades, “resigned” from the country’s highest office on November 21 this year — hours after Parliament had initiated stunning proceedings to impeach him.

This happened after he had refused to leave office during eight tense days that began with the military intervening in the governance of the country.

In this week’s publicised raft of benefits that he is set to receive, the government detailed the number of staff that will be at Mugabe’s disposal, as well as his office and accommodation entitlements — including a private residence on a 5 000 square metres piece of land; comprehensive medical cover for him, his wife and children; as well as transport that includes top-of-the-range vehicles.

The Daily News further understands that Mugabe’s exit package does not include the $10 million which was dangled to the soon-to-be 94-year-old as part of the negotiations which led to his ouster last month — and which also culminated in him being granted immunity from prosecution.

“As a lawyer I am concerned about the legality of this package because only Parliament controls budget and this is an appropriation from a Consolidated Revenue Fund … that kind of appropriation cannot be made without Parliament’s approval.

“It cannot be made at the discretion of the president. Part of the reason why sitting presidents do not want to step down is that they fear for the life after, which this package now guarantees. It’s excessive,” former Finance minister Tendai Biti told the Daily News yesterday.

“The other aspect that is also worrying is that the Statutory Instrument has a cut-off date of 1987, which means it’s catering for Mugabe alone.

But we had another president Canaan Banana. Why discriminate against him? Why are there no benefits for poor Banana’s family? Why are we not also catering for former prime ministers as well? This is why we get worried by this new regime.

They call themselves a new order, but it’s no new order at all,” Biti thundered further.

Opposition leader and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC also said Mugabe did not deserve his jaw-dropping exit package.

“Mugabe’s exit package is obscene. How can an impoverished country like Zimbabwe grant such a hefty package to the former dictator … Mugabe?

This is all about placating Mugabe and it’s not about protecting the interests of the majority of Zimbabweans. The feeding trough has been extended to Mugabe even in his forced retirement.

And to think Mugabe looted the country’s resources and externalised billions of United States dollars!

“This boggles the mind. It also proves that the Mnangagwa administration is simply an extension of the profligacy of the Mugabe regime.

This is all about protecting the interests of the political elite so that Mnangagwa will also enjoy the same benefits when he retires from the presidency. It’s sad beyond description,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

Veteran economist John Robertson did not believe that the package would benefit the whole Mugabe family, adding that it could be a short-term arrangement for the sole benefit of the nonagenarian.

‘‘It’s very hard to interpret the package, but the people who put it together may believe that it won’t be for long … maybe three or four years.

I don’t think it will extend beyond that and may not extend to his wife who is also on the list of the people suspected of externalising foreign currency.

“She may be asked to first return all the money she may have externalised before she is granted this package in the case of Mugabe’s death.

But the main story is that it (exit package) can’t be for very long,” Robertson told the Daily News.

Student leader Zivai Mhetu called for a re-alignment of the Presidential Pension and Retirement Packages Act, so that it was commensurate with the economic situation obtaining in the country.

“We don’t want our former president to live a life of misery after serving his time, but in a country where many are languishing in poverty we cannot afford to be fuelling Mugabe’s three cars without a limit, buying him three new cars every five years, building him a new house on a 5 000 square metres piece of land, as well as paying his electricity and telephone bills.

“If Mugabe had the people at heart he would refuse some of these perks. But then again, this is a selfish leader who clung onto power when the people no longer wanted him. I don’t see him being that noble,” Mhetu said.

In last Friday’s public notice, the government announced that: “The president, in terms of section 3(1) of the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits Act, hereby makes the following notice:

“A former president of Zimbabwe, who has at any time since the 31st December 1987, been president of Zimbabwe for at least one full term of office, shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the following services, facilities and allowances — staff (a) the services of — (i) such security personnel as may be determined by the president, but no less than six, and to be increased by such number as may be determined by the president whenever and for such period as the need arises; and (ii) two drivers and (iii) two private secretaries; and (iv) two aide-de-camp officers or personal assistants; and (v) two office attendants.”

Mugabe and Grace are also entitled to diplomatic passports and private, first class international air travel up-to a maximum of four trips per year.

The nonagenarian will also receive a Mercedes Benz S500 series or any equivalent vehicle, one four-wheel drive station wagon or an equivalent vehicle, and one pick up van.

Apart from maintaining and fuelling the vehicles, the government will also be obliged to replace all the vehicles after five years.

The 93-year-old also has the option of maintaining his long motorcade after the government notified that Mugabe was entitled to the provision of “such adequate number of vehicles as may be determined by the president and which must be put at the disposal of the security personnel and other staff serving the former president”.

Mugabe will also be entitled to a landline telephone, a cellphone, two computers and “such other office equipment and materials as may be determined by the president”.

In terms of accommodation, the former Zanu PF supremo will be provided with “a fully furnished official residence at any place in Harare”.

The housing benefits will also include any such befitting request made by Mugabe within two months of leaving office.

According to the gazette, Mugabe may request the construction of a single private residence at any place of his choice in Zimbabwe, and it will be granted.

If he so chooses, he can also request for the payment of a lump sum which is equal or equivalent to the value of the private residence he so desires.

“In the case of his official residence … if the president (Mugabe) dies, his or her surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, his or her dependent child must continue to be provided with suitable state residential accommodation until – (i) in the case of a surviving spouse, the date on which he or she dies or remarries, whichever event occurs first; and (ii) in the case of the dependent child, the date which he or she dies or the date on which he or she attains the age of 21 years, whichever event occurs first,” the Government Gazette read.

The private residence is to be constructed on land not exceeding 5 000 square metres and the residence itself may not exceed a reasonably-sized house with five bedrooms, a guest wing with three bedrooms, a study, a swimming pool, two guardrooms and two garages.

In connection with the residence, government will on behalf of Mugabe employ three domestic workers, two gardeners, two cooks, two waiters and two laundry personnel.

Other benefits will see Mugabe getting an entertainment allowance as determined by Mnangagwa.

Mugabe will also be entitled to payment of telephone expenses, water and electricity charges. DailyNews

  • Long live Mugabe

  • Mukutsamwira ani apa

  • Mnangagwa did all this in the name of power greediness

  • Chero zvakaenda

  • nyika ino promoter dictator povo ichimwa mvura yemuma sewage aah maone

  • Long live Gushaz u deserve that package u worked for Zim tirelessly from 1980 till the yr MDC was formed vnhu vkadzidza zvikoro nemaclinics mkavakisa I salute u

    • aaaah

    • shocking!!!

    • Kkkkkk stupid, was clinching to power, all along was not needed by the pipo. Thus the worst president I have ever seen since I was born.

    • usataure zvisizvo. vabereki vakachaya zvidhinha vakazvivakira zvikoro. kunyange izvozvi kumaruwa varikuzvivakira kuburikidza nema SDA. Chamugabe ndechipi? Pandaiva Grade 4 1984 takange tavekutochaya zvidhinha zve sec school yadu ende ndozvaiitwa kumaruwa. I agree with yu kana urikutaura zvikoro zviri muZvimba disrict, Futi zvimwe zvakavakwa memachechi e.g kutama. Zvimwechetezvo nemaclinic

    • Wakadzidza mahara here
      Ko kurapwa?? Inga hako
      Chitoudza gushaz wako atange party yake ogomutsigira

    • kana phone ichine moto kungonyora zvaasingazive. Hapana kana 1 chandakaitirwa naMugabe

  • Shuwa nyika ineVana varikudzidza pasi peMiti, vanokwanisa kukupa munhu umwechete zvese izvozvo?
    It is a disgrace.

  • He wont enjoy any of these benefits coz he is gonna die soon .pliz my fellow Zimz understand me dont stress its tactical

  • Zvinorwadza hazvo..kusvika riiniko na Mwari wee? Pindirai jehova

  • Rwendo

    If this was 1990 and this was the price we had to pay to be spared Gushungo economics and Gushungo ‘politricks’ for another 27 years, we might raise our eyebrows but say it was well worth the price. But at this stage, a package like this (equaling if not surpassing those given in countries with the world’s largest economies) is beyond absurd.

    Laws are not meant to be made for specific individuals. Imagine the long term cost to the fiscus when the country gets beyond the current sad phase of over-70-year-old (jet-black hair and all) presidents (as both Chiwenga and Mohadi would be after two terms of Mnangagwa – himself then 86)? Plus, was this ever debated in any of our legislative bodies, or are these the early pointers to an authoritarian presidency?

  • Look at the pic closely there is nothing eye-watering there.

  • He deserves it all and even more

  • I think they they are scared of him imagine Ethiopians doing that to mengistu

  • Leave Mugabe alone. Coup leaders are just paying him for the blow he suffered on their treasonous actions. Had they allowed him to go thru the ballot it was going to be cheaper for Zimbabweans but dear to all greedy Zanu PF looters

  • Mugabe is still the “President” of Zimbabwe but this time around the “P” is silent

  • The danger with this is that in a truly democratic environment we can easily end up with four retired presidents all enjoying these benefits. I would not mind fighting to be president for one full term and then retire on the extravagant package. I really hope we will vote in younger presidents. The downside is that idea 40 year old wins, he would retire at 50 and sap the fiscus for anything up to or beyond our current retired presidents ripe old age. I suggest that the law makers err on the conservative side. There is nothing that justifies such largesse and excess.

  • Only god knows

  • Despite all wrongs he deserves it, let’s not be harsh let God judge his child

  • Konke kulesikhathi sakho

  • Too much selfish. He is a billionaire already but he wants some more

  • Human beings are known to be very selfish indeed. Despite all the assets that the Mugabe’s have you wont be surprised that he will still accept the offer. What is the rationale of building another house when they already own several residencies that will eventually turn into ghost houses?

  • Gushungo muri kumberi thats y i lv u

  • Mdara regai azorore face yanga isisaite iyi

  • OK

  • Even CEO of big companies get hefty packages on forced retirement. This was a President remember. Our hatred for him because of how he trashed our country will always cloud our judgement. Personally I think he deserves nothing looking at the damage he did. But hey. That’s the system. Aotovewo mushandi. We just want to forget about him. Every time I see his photo I murmur a silent “asshole” or “mhata yemunhu”. Just glad he and his witch are gone.

  • Kuitiswa

  • He must be tried first mozomupa when hr s clean

  • yah i went thru the offers haa its a bit disturbing asi tingadii ,ko aiva mutungamiriwo zve

  • I think ED did that bcos he knows he himself will benefit such after his 2 terms

  • I think ED did that bcos he knows he himself will benefit such after his 2 terms

  • Come 2018 elections people of Zim will kick out this Zanu Pf out of power…They are runing the country lyke their spaza shops….

  • Come 2018 elections people of Zim will kick out this Zanu Pf out of power…They are runing the country lyke their spaza shops….

    • You are the one who celebrated when the army took over, and now you are forgetting that the same army still exists and vibrant, MDC or any Opposition will never rule this country

  • They removed him from the gravy train and threw him into the gravy.

  • They removed him from the gravy train and threw him into the gravy.

  • ZANU pf must reform why do u cream Mugabe like this what for that man was evil

    • netombo mugabe was right wrong because u know how to read and write but actually he was a bastard

    • netombo mugabe was right wrong because u know how to read and write but actually he was a bastard

  • Hazvichanakidza. Dai achirikuzvinzwa better. Kabanga Grace

  • ndiko kuti muzive pekuvhotera next time

  • deserve package he resigned but . point of view zim from hero to zero

  • deserve package he resigned but . point of view zim from hero to zero

  • ths guy’s networth is mo than twice the budget of this country bt shockingly he wll accept the offer wthout being ashamed of the destruction he cozd to the economy

  • mugabe is no one ‘s men because he despesed various families e

  • Ejoy ur package our fomer president u deserve it despaity the bad things u did for us but according to the period it’s ur wright to get that much keep it up ED it shows u have everyone’s wright at heart

  • Mr President i think u got it ol wrong with th $10m golden handshake.the economy can hardly afford it and besides it just shows how greedy and inconsiderate African leaders are.so the former president takes with him 14 farms and Mr President u ar ok with that?and on top of that u add $10m.madam grace on th other hand keeps mazoe dam.some ppl do have it ok

  • Can someone take out this picture for me selfish old man

  • Zanu pf will be Zanu Pf it will only change faces not its DNA. Its shocking to see a man who took 37years running down industries to closure, farms to firewood producers and hunting grounds, hospitals to clinics, municipal water to sewage water. Now they give him a pat at the back and a package. This is daylight robbery of the Reserve Bank.

  • Ndomadhodhi manje ko yaakaba inga ana Kadhaffi vakadzisiya mari idzi. He deserve no package how many died coz of this man black or white….. And a reward for that….plzzzx

  • He is not doing it for Mugabe. He is just preparing for himself,. selfish crocodile.. Wait n see. You haven’t seen,. you haven’t heard. You shall see.

  • Tax payers hard earned pennies to award that plundering and looting left right and centre. Not to mention human rights abuses. Does he need the money anyway???? Its js utterly disgusting to say the least!!!!

  • Uri mboko sabhuku.

  • JL

    In a civilised world this evil old man would not get anything and he would be investigated for damaging a once thriving economy