By Blessings Mashaya
Government is ill-treating former president Robert Mugabe, his nephew and former Public Service minister Patrick Zhuwao has sensationally said. In an interview with Voice of America (Voa) on Friday Zhuwao said the government is not respecting Mugabe.
“They are ill-treating the old man, they went to prophets and traditional healers and were told the same that they are ill-treating the old man but they failed to change, they continue to ill-treat the old man.
“We must respect him (Mugabe) he went to war; he was jailed fighting for the people.
“People are saying where is Mugabe? We elected him, but you people in Harare we heard you removed him. I cross in and out of the country on regular basis and from what I heard from the people, they are not happy with this military government. If elections come they will not win.”
Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for close to four decades, “resigned” from the country’s highest office on November 21 last 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.
Zhuwao insists that Mnangagwa’s government is illegitimate and will not win a free and fair election.
“Obviously, we will go back to Zimbabwe at some point; those who took power do not want to listen to the people. They only decided that they want to rule Zimbabwe and they went on to take guns.
“Our ancestors are not happy with what is happening, this government is illegitimate, they took power by force. I cannot congratulate thieves. He (Mnangagwa) knows that he is unelectable, he was ‘beaten’ in Kwekwe and he ended up by creating his constituency.
“He managed to canvass support from the military for him to grab power. I am not going to work with murderers and those who joined him only think about their stomachs.
“They went to my house with two lorries full of soldiers to interrogate my wife, they knew that I was in Argentina, my farm workers were beaten.”
Zhuwao also said Mnangagwa was the one who backed former first lady Grace to her former position as the secretary for women’s league.
“The truth is going to come out. Our country has many youths and we must give them opportunities. Elections are coming you are going to see the truth. In a free and fair election Mnangagwa will not get 15 percent.”
Zhuwao’s sentiments on Mugabe come after government last week 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. DailyNews