Disgraced former president Robert Mugabe might have to pillage his reportedly deep pockets to minister to an abiding penchant for foreign travel after he was limited to just four foreign trips as part of his package.
Before his inglorious exit from power last month, Mugabe would annually cost financially crippled Zimbabwe millions of dollars attending nearly every international meeting he heard about, in addition to regular trips to Singapore for medical attention and annual holidays.
The 93-year-old was forced to resign after the military which had helped keep him in power over the 37 years he ruled Zimbabwe even through election defeats (according to the opposition) finally gave up and revolted.
With his Zanu PF party also mutinying, Mugabe dispatched a letter to the Speaker of Parliament announcing his resignation as the fed-up ruling party ganged up with the opposition to impeach him.
Reports claimed that the veteran leader had been given ten million dollars as his retirement package.
The claim was however, dismissed as false by new Emmerson Mnangagwa administration.
“The package of the former President will be in terms of the laws of the land and will be worked out by the Civil Service Commission, not by generals, not by negotiators, not by the previous Head of State,” said presidential spokesman George Charamba last month.
“After all, we are not in a unique position by way of having a retired Statesman or President. We had that experience towards the end of the 1980s when President Banana retired. A package was done for him in terms of the law.”
Mugabe’s package has now been outlined in a Statutory Instrument which was recently published in an Extraordinary Government Gazette, according to the Herald newspaper.
Among other things, Mugabe is entitled to “international air private travel up to a maximum of four trips per annum including the spouse if he or she accompanies the former President.
“A former President, together with his or her spouse, will be entitled to a diplomatic passport, first class air and rail private travel within the country up to a maximum of four trips per year.”
Furthermore, a “former President will get a fully-furnished official residence at any place in Harare.
“A former President will also be entitled to a housing allowance to be determined by the sitting President, or a single private residence acquired or constructed on his or her behalf at any place of his or her choice in Zimbabwe or payment of a lump sum equal to the value of the private residence.
“In the case of the official residence referred to in paragraph (c) (i) [of the notice] if the former President dies, his or her surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, his or her dependent child, must continue to be provided with suitable State residential accommodation until (i) in the case of a surviving spouse, the date on which he or she dies or remarries, or whichever occurs first and (ii) in the case of a dependent child, the date on which he or she dies or the date on which he or she attains the age of 21 years, whichever event occurs first.”
In addition, the former president is also entitled to a 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.
“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.”