Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Gets Comfortable Retirement

The retirement perks for Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe include some two-dozen permanent staff, three new cars every five years and​a newly built eight-bedroom residence or its equivalent in cash, according to a notice issued by the country’s new leader.


President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa

Mr. Mugabe was forced to end his turn as the world’s oldest head of state last month after 37 years in power that pushed his country to the brink of financial collapse, but saw his family gain vast personal wealth.

On Thursday, as Constantino Chiwenga, the military commander who led the intervention to oust him, was sworn in as vice president, the price tag for his resignation became public.

His successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has made sure that Mr. Mugabe and his wife Grace won’t suffer. The 93-year-old will be attended to by at least 25 staff—including a minimum of six security guards, two private secretaries, two cooks and two people in charge of cleaning his laundry, according to the notice,​which sets out the retirement benefits for presidents​and was ​published in Zimbabwe’s government gazette.

He will also have access to a Mercedes Benz S500 or an equivalent luxury sedan, a four-wheel-drive station wagon and a pick-up truck—which have to be replaced every five years—and a fully furnished office.

Mr. Mugabe, who already owns several properties including his luxurious “Blue Roof” mansion on the outskirts of Harare, is entitled to “a reasonably sized house with five bedrooms, a guest wing with three bedrooms, a study, a swimming pool, two guard rooms and two garages.” Should he decide not to have the government build a new residence, he can demand the equivalent in cash.

The government will pay for up to four first-class private international trips a year for Mr. Mugabe and his wife.

The couple, who haven’t made any public comments since ​Mr. Mugabe stepped down on Nov. 21, are currently in Singapore, where the former president regularly receives medical treatment. The state will continue to pay for his medical care as well as his phone, water and electricity charges.

The former president already receives a monthly pension that is equal to the president’s salary, said George Charamba, Mr. Mnangagwa’s spokesman, who declined to give details on how much that salary was. Mr. Charamba denied reports last month that Mr. Mugabe had received a “golden handshake” of as much as $10 million for agreeing to step down.

“We’re not in the business of buying people out of office,” he said.

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