By Ovasa Ogaga,
President Emmerson Mnangagwa in an official gazette published has presented arrays of generous benefits to the former Zimbabwe’s leader, Robert Mugabe as retirement package.
According to the gazette, Mugabe shall enjoy no fewer than the services of six security personnel, two drivers, two private secretaries and two aide-de-camp officers and two office attendants.
His office will be fully furnished, with at least a landline telephone and a cellphone, two computers and such other office equipment and materials as might be determined by the reigning President.
Mugabe, who already lives in a blue roof palace in Harare will get in addition a housing allowance to be determined by Mnangagwa, or a single private residence acquired or constructed on his behalf at any place of his choice in Zimbabwe or payment of a lump sum equal to the value of the private residence.
According to News Agency of Nigeria report, the latter benefit will also accrue to his surviving spouse or dependent child up to the age of 21 years.
“With respect to private residence, the property shall be constructed on land which in total may not exceed 5 000 square metres. The residence, if it was to be built, should not exceed a reasonably sized house with five bedrooms, a guest wing with three bedrooms, a study, swimming pool, two guardrooms and two garages”, the gazette said.
As part of the benefits, Mugabe will also be entitled to enjoy the services of three domestic employees, two gardeners, two cooks, two waiters and two laundry persons.”
He, his wife Grace and dependent children will also enjoy medical aid allowance, which implies they will enjoy free medical treatment.
Mugabe and Grace will be entitled to diplomatic passports, first class air and rail tickets within the country and outside, up to a maximum of four trips per year.
Mugabe is also entitled to one sedan (Mercedes Benz S500 Series or an equivalent class of motor vehicle), one four-wheel drive station wagon or equivalent, and a pickup van.
The security personnel and other staff working for him are also entitled to vehicles, the number of which will be determined by President Mnangawa.
Government shall bear the cost of fueling all the vehicles and all the vehicles are replaceable after every five years.
Also, Mugabe will not bear the cost of utilities such as water, electricity, telephone, both at home and in his office. Government will pay for all.
The Gazette entitled ‘Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits (Services and Facilities for Former Presidents) Notice, 2017’ takes immediate effect, according to Zimbabwe Herald newspaper.
The Gazette says that Zimabwe’s leaders since 1987 are entitled to enjoy the benefits. Mugabe, however, was the sole President of the country since 1980 and will be the first to do so.