Zimbabwe unveils generous retirement package for ousted leader Robert Mugabe

Mugabe (above, in 2016) will get a residence, a car fleet and private air travel. PHOTO: AFP

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe's ousted president Robert Mugabe will get a residence, a car fleet and private air travel as part of a new government-funded retirement package for former leaders, state media reported on Thursday (Dec 28).

Mugabe will also be entitled to at least 20 staff members, including six personal security guards, all paid for from state coffers, according to details of the benefits published in The Herald newspaper.

The 93-year-old, who quit last month under popular pressure following a military takeover, is the first beneficiary of the generous measures unveiled on Wednesday by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

No monetary details were spelt out, but the country's constitution stipulates that an ex-president is entitled to a pension equivalent to the salary of a sitting president.

Local independent media reported last month that Mugabe was granted a US$10 million (S$13 million) retirement bonus as part of a deal to persuade him to eventually resign. The government denied the claims.

As part of the new package, Mugabe will have three cars - a Mercedes Benz S500 Series or an equivalent class of sedan, an all-terrain station wagon and a pickup van - which will be replaced every five years.

The government will also pay for fuel.

Robert Mugabe walks out of a lift at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, Dec 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP
Robert Mugabe gets into a car as his entourage looks on at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, Dec 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Mugabe and his wife will be entitled to diplomatic passports. The couple can go on four first-class air or train trips within Zimbabwe and four trips abroad on a private plane.

Mugabe will also be awarded a fully-furnished official residence anywhere in the capital Harare, in addition to bills and entertainment allowances.

Health insurance for the former leader, his spouse and dependants is also included in the raft of benefits.

Mugabe resigned on Nov 21 after his party expelled him and parliament began proceedings to impeach him in the wake of a military intervention.

His 37-year tenure was marked by accusations of rights abuses, electoral fraud and economic ineptitude.

He was replaced by his long-time ally Mnangagwa, who had fallen out with Mugabe after the president sided with his 52-year-old wife Grace in a bitter feud.

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