PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has promulgated Statutory Instrument 261 which stipulates the benefits to be enjoyed by former first ladies.
In Zimbabwe, however, there is no official title for a first lady.
The country currently has two first ladies, Janet Banana, wife of the late ceremonial president Canaan Banana [1980-87] and Grace Mugabe, Robert Mugabe’s widow.
The benefits, to be paid for by taxpayers, of course, are as follows:
- such security personnel as may be determined by the President but not less than two, and to be increased by such number as may be determined by the President whenever, and for such period, as the need arises
- one driver
- one Private Secretary
- one aide-de-camp officer or personal assistant
- office accommodation as may be determined by the President
- a landline telephone and a cell phone
- one computer
- such other office facilities, equipment and materials as may be determined by the President.
- suitable state residential accommodation
- one domestic employee
- one gardener
- one cook and one waiter
- An allowance covering medical contributions of the spouse of the former President
- a diplomatic passport
- business class air and rail private travel within Zimbabwe, if available up to a maximum of two trips per annum
- business class international air private travel up to a maximum of two trips per annum
- one sedan (Mercedes Benz E300 Series) or one four-wheel-drive station wagon or an equivalent or similar class of motor vehicle
- one pick-up van
- such number of motor vehicles as may be determined by the President must be put at the disposal of the security personnel and other staff serving the spouse of a former President
- fuel as may be determined by the President from time to time
- maintenance of vehicles referred to in paragraph 6(a)
- which cost of maintenance shall be borne by the Government
- replacement vehicles every five years
- an entertainment allowance as determined by the President from time to time
- telephone expenses in respect of the office and official residence of the spouse of the former President
- water and electricity exemption in respect of the office and official residence of the former spouse of a former President