Mugabe's generous exit package revealed; globetrotter ex-president limited to four foreign trips


HARARE: First class air travel on four foreign trips per year; private houses and a veritable army of aides and domestic staff – these are some of the benefits Robert Mugabe will enjoy after he was forced to resign last month.

No tightening of the belt for the 93-year-old jetsetter whose unpopular wife was known as Gucci Grace: Mugabe gets a diplomatic passport and three vehicles, including a Mercedes limousine.

There’ll also be a four-wheel drive station wagon and a pick-up. What if they wear out? No worries Your Ex-Excellency – they’ll be replaced every five years.

The benefits are laid out in an official government notice just published by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, reports the state-run Herald.

And Grace certainly won’t be watering her vegetable garden herself.

The notice says: “There shall be employed in connection with the residence of the former President (i) three domestic employees, and (ii) two gardeners, and (iii) two cooks and two waiters and (iv) two laundry persons.”

“The ex-president will also get security staff, office workers and aide de camp officers,” said the Herald. 

The regulations state that any president who has served at least one full term since 1987 shall be eligible for the benefits. Mugabe, a former prime minister, became executive president in 1987.

Zimbabweans on social media were on Thursday incredulous.

“When I grow up I want to be a retired President!” tweeted @denvern3.

Media watchdog, ZimMediaReview commented: “One day we’ll have many former presidents :) It will be costly.”

Here are the perks allocated to Mugabe:

--- A fully furnished official residence in Harare

--- Housing allowance or a private residence anywhere in Zimbabwe with five bedrooms and three guestrooms or lump sum of money equivalent to the cost of building a private residence

--- At least six security staff‚ which can be increased at the current head of government's request

--- Two drivers

--- Two private secretaries‚ two office assistants and two personal assistants

--- At the residence Mugabe is able to employ: two gardeners‚ two cooks‚ two waiters‚ two laundry staff and three domestic workers

--- An office with computers‚ cellphone‚ landline

--- Vehicles and petrol costs for all staff serving the president. The cars must be replaced every five years.

The current president has the discretion to increase the number of security personal and decide on Mugabe's entertainment allowance.

The private residence‚ described in the gazette as "a reasonably sized house"‚ is allowed to have five bedrooms‚ a guest wing with three guest rooms‚ a study‚ swimming pool‚ two guardrooms and two garages.

The benefits also include medical aid contributions for the president‚ his spouse and children under age of 21.

Mugabe and his wife will have diplomatic passports‚ first class air and train transport four times a year inside the country. The pair are also entitled to four international private air trips and the use of a Mercedes Benz 500 series or equivalent vehicle in a foreign country.

Mugabe's electricity and water bills will also be paid.


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Denis Gwenzi
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