Monday 17 June 2019

Retirement Mugabe-style: A house, cars, air travel, and at least 20 staff

Retirement: Robert Mugabe
Retirement: Robert Mugabe

Roland Oliphant

Robert Mugabe will get a house, a fleet of private cars and guaranteed first-class air travel as part of a retirement package funded by the Zimbabwean government.

Mr Mugabe, who was deposed in a coup last month after 37 years as president of Zimbabwe, will also maintain at least 20 staff, including security guards at taxpayers' expense.

The generous retirement package was laid out in a list of benefits for ex-presidents of Zimbabwe published by Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced Mr Mugabe as head of state following the coup.

It came as Mr Mnangagwa rewarded the general who orchestrated the coup by installing him in one of the country's most powerful positions.

Constantino Chiwenga, who as head of the Zimbabwean armed forces sent troops into Harare and oversaw the arrest of Mr Mugabe in November, was sworn in as one of two vice-presidents in a ceremony in Harare yesterday.

"I will discharge my duties with all my strength and to the best of my knowledge and ability," Mr Chiwenga, who has since retired from the military, said at the ceremony.

Mr Mugabe resigned on November 21 after he was placed under house arrest by the army, expelled from the Zanu-PF party that he founded, and threatened with impeachment in a mostly non-violent coup.

Mr Mnangagwa, a long-term ally who fell out with Mr Mugabe after losing a power struggle with Grace Mugabe, the First Lady, was installed as president on November 24.

The retirement package published in The Herald, a newspaper based in Harare, does not mention monetary benefits for the former president.

Independent media reported last month that Mr Mugabe was promised a €8.3m pension in negotiations for his resignation.

The document says a retired president will be provided with either an official residence or a private home built on his own land not exceeding five bedrooms.

Irish Independent

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