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Govt gazettes benefits of former Presidents, spouses

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa last week gazetted benefits for spouses of former presidents and vice presidents that have served the country since 1987.

The benefits are contained in Statutory Instruments 261 and 260 of 2020 titled Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits (Services and Facilities for Spouses of Former Presidents) Notice, 2020 and Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits (Services and Facilities for Spouses of Former Vice Presidents), Notice 2020.

The SIs were gazetted in terms of section 3(1) of the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits Act.

SI 261 provides for the benefits of spouses of former presidents who serve for at least one full term.

“The spouse of the former President shall be entitled to the services of the following –  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 and one aide-de-camp officer or personal assistant,” reads SI 261.

The spouse of the former President shall also be entitled to the provision of an office accommodation as may be determined by the President; a landline telephone and a cellphone; one computer and such other office facilities, equipment and materials as may be determined by the President.

The State will also provide accommodation to the spouse of the former President, including one domestic worker, a gardener, a cook and one waiter.

The spouse will also receive an allowance for medical aid contributions; a diplomatic passport; business class air and rail private travel within Zimbabwe, if available up to a maximum of two trips per annum; and business class international air private travel up to a maximum of two trips per year.

In terms of vehicles, the spouse will receive one sedan (Mercedes Benz E300 Series) or one four-wheel drive station wagon or an equivalent or similar class of vehicle; one pick-up van; and others meant for security personnel and other staff serving the spouse.

The vehicles would be maintained by the State while fuel allocation would be determined by the President.

The vehicles would be replaced every five years.

With respect to other benefits, the spouse of the former President shall be entitled to the provision of — (a) 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 and water and electricity exemption in respect of the office and official residence of the former spouse of a former President, reads SI 261.

SI 2020-261 Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits (Services and Facilities for Spouses of Former Presidents) Notice, 2020

Part of SI 2020-261 Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits (Services and Facilities for Spouses of Former Presidents) Notice, 2020

SI 260 provides for the benefits of spouses of a former vice president and these include; a domestic worker; a gardener; a driver; one private secretary and one aide-de-camp officer or personal assistant.

The other benefits are a Mercedes Benz sedan as may be determined by the President; colour television set; and an official office telephone.

The spouse will also receive allowances covering medical aid contributions and air travel once a year.

SI 2020-260 Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefi ts (Services and Facilities for Spouses of Former Vice-Presidents) Notice, 2020

SI 2020-260 Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefi ts (Services and Facilities for Spouses of Former Vice-Presidents) Notice, 2020

In Zimbabwe, however, there is no official title for a first lady.

The benefits, to be paid for by taxpayers, of course, are as follows in point format:

  • 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
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa consoles former First Lady Grace Mugabe during her husband Robert Mugabe’s funeral in September 2019.
  • 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)
Surprisingly pampered… Grace Mugabe can smile her way to a comfy retirement life thanks to the pampering by the State.
  • 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

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.

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