Zimbabwe’s leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has created new pension regulations for spouses of former presidents and their deputies, ensuring his wife and Grace Mugabe, the wife of the late former president, will live in extraordinary comfort for the rest of their lives.
Before he died, former president Robert Mugabe, ousted by Mr Mnangagwa in a coup d’etat in 2017, complained he did not have enough money to repair the leaking roof in his Chinese-style mansion in northern Harare.
Zimbabwe has only one presidential widow, Grace Mugabe, 55, who receives Robert Mugabe’s annual pension of about £2,000 per month.
Now the state will either pay for the upkeep of her present mansion, or buy her another home.
New benefits also allow former first ladies either a Mercedes-Benz E300, one four-wheel-drive station wagon, or an equivalent or similar class of motor vehicle and one pickup van, and potentially more vehicles as “seen fit by the president.” Her staff may also be given vehicles. All vehicles will be fuelled and serviced by the state. After five years, Grace Mugabe and future presidential spouses will qualify for new ones.
The state must also pay for a full-time cook, a gardener, a domestic worker, a driver, and a personal assistant or “aide de camp”.
Mrs Mugabe and in time, Auxilia Mnangagwa, the president’s wife, will also have access to a state-funded furnished office, at least two full time security staffers, and their living costs, as well as business class travel anywhere in the world twice a year.
Last week Mrs Mnangagwa was accused of involvement in a shady gold deal when Henrietta Rushwaya, president of Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation was arrested at Harare’s international airport and accused of attempting to smuggle six kilograms of gold – stuffed into her handbag – to Dubai.
The Harare Magistrate’s court heard that one of Ms Rushwaya’s alleged accomplices linked the first lady to part ownership of the gold. Mrs Mnangagwa denied this.
Mr Mnangagwa had at least two previous wives, and an unknown number of children, as well as several “small houses,” over the years, which are mistresses recognised by the courts.
The new regulations will affect spouses of former state presidents and vice presidents who must serve at least one full term in office. Telegraph.