Robert Mugabe may have been ousted from ruling over impoverished Zimbabwe but he isn’t going away empty handed. After a coup deposed him last month, Mugabe has now been given a very generous package that includes staff, mansion-sized housing, first class air tickets, and a Mercedes Benz S-Class, among other vehicles.
The details of the former dictator’s package were published in The Herald, a state-run publication, on Thursday, Dec. 28. The day before, current President Emmerson Mnangagwa gazetted the so-called pension and retirement benefits that a Zimbabwean former head of state is entitled to upon retirement.
News of the golden handshake comes a month after 93-year-old Mugabe was pushed from power following the country’s military taking control of the country. Mnangagwa, who was once a long term ally of Mugabe’s and the former head of Zimbabwe’s spy agency, was sworn in as president on Nov. 24.
The regulated entitlements announced by the feared Mnangagwa will cost the impoverished southern African nation hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
Under the ruling, Mugabe will have no less than six security personnel and will be entitled to eight other staff members including drivers, private secretaries, and two aide-de-camp officers, reported The Herald.
The state will provide him with a fully-furnished and equipped office, including a cellphone and two computers.
Mugabe is entitled to a furnished official residence anywhere in Harare, the country’s capital. He will also have either have a housing allowance, or the acquisition or construction of one anywhere in the country. If a residence is to be built, it is allowed to be mansion size and staffed by more than ten.
“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,” read the regulations, reported The Herald.
A pool and guardrooms were also included as part of that. These benefits will be passed onto Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe if she remains unmarried or any dependent children under the age of 21. The state will pick up the tab for water, electricity, telephone bills for usage in the office and the official residence, said the report.
Mugabe and his wife will also each have a diplomatic passport and will be entitled to four first class flights abroad per year in addition to some similar travel perks locally.
Mugabe will also be entitled to three vehicles. One being a Mercedes Benz S500 Series or an equivalent, another being a four-wheel drive station wagon or equivalent, and a pickup van. That is not including the vehicles needed for his staff, including security.
The state will pay for the vehicle’s fuel needs and will replace each vehicle every five years.
Mugabe and his wife, as well as any dependent children, will have their medical expenses covered by the state. An entertainment allowance is also to be provided.
According to The Guardian, recent reports by local independent media stated that Mugabe was earlier granted a $10 million retirement bonus as part of sweetener to persuade him to step down. The current regime has denied these claims.
Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years. Most of the country’s 17 million people live in chronic poverty. Once considered the bread basket of southern Africa, the cash-strapped nation now struggles to feed its own people, reports the BBC.