'Goblin' and Grace Mugabe will be sitting pretty on presidential benefits

23 November 2017 - 06:39 By James Thompson
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace at a rally of his ruling Zanu-PF in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. File photo.
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace at a rally of his ruling Zanu-PF in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. File photo.
Image: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

Ousted Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe would have lost his salary benefits if he had not resigned.

Had the impeachment process gone ahead, he would have been fired with no benefits.

The Presidential Pension and Retirement Act's Section 6 stipulates that a former president can be denied pension if he or she leaves office having "acted in wilful violation of the constitution; or of gross misconduct".

The charge sheet brought before Speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda alleged Mugabe's "serious misconduct" was that he let his wife speak about government business in public when she was not a cabinet minister and also abused state resources, among other issues.

Mugabe will earn the same amount of money earned by the sitting president. In 2015 he claimed to be earning $12,000 monthly.

"He will be well off. This constitution was drafted in 2013 with Mugabe's exit in mind having agreed on the two-terms clause," said Sam Ncube, a lawyer based in Harare.

The former first lady, Grace Mugabe, will also sit pretty. She will get state-sponsored domestic help, air travel, office accommodation and an entertainment allowance.

Mugabe's advanced age, 93, has been of interest in his last days in office.

The impeachment charge alleged that he could not execute his duties because of his old age. Mugabe would sleep during meetings and some of his critics had nicknamed him "the goblin".

When he dies, his widow will earn two-thirds of the pension.

If it goes down to children they will get a third of the pension as long as they are under the age of 18.

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