No Lavish Birthday Celebration As Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Turns 94

Former Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, who ruled the country with an iron fist for decades, turned 94 on Wednesday, with no lavish celebrations like previous years.

This will be his first birthday since being ousted in a military coup in 2017.

February 21 is still a holiday in the southern African nation, but, unlike in previous years, huge amounts of money have not been spent on extravagant celebrations or outlandish birthday cakes.

Mr. Mugabe ally and former government minister, Jonathan Moyo, who fled the country after November’s coup, posted a picture to Facebook that he said showed Mugabe and his wife marking the occasion at their Harare home.

Mugabe, known for his penchant for Savile Row suits, was immaculately dressed, but sat slumped in his chair, while his wife, often derided for her expense tastes as “Gucci Grace,” was dressed in bright pink.

The much-loathed former first lady gave a slight smile, in contrast to a picture of her released earlier this week with her husband and the chief of the African Union in which she appeared decidedly unhappy.

The Mugabes were allowed to stay in Zimbabwe after the coup that brought current leader Emmerson Mnangagwa to power.

The former liberation hero was also reportedly given a generous retirement package.

In 2017, Mr. Mugabe, for his 93rd birthday, had a cake weighing 93 kgs, a symbol many found distasteful in a country mired in economic crisis.

(dpa/NAN)

Robert Mugabe’s Retirement Package Revealed

State media has reported that Zimbabwe’s former 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.

Mugabe will also be entitled to at least 20 staffers 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 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 $10-million (8.3-million euro) 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.

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

 

“Mugabe’s Birthday Now A Public Holiday In Zimbabwe”

The Zimbabwean government has officially declared February 2 Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day, thereby making the former president’s birthday a public holiday.

According to Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper, calls for the former president’s birthday to be made a national holiday were adopted by the government in August, following intense lobbying by the Zanu-PF Youth League.

The decision was, however, officially recorded on Friday, it adds.

Mr. Mugabe resigned last week after a military intervention and days of mass protests.

New President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to form a cabinet this week.

Last week, Mr. Mnangagwa said the former president needed to be given the respect and recognition he deserved as one of the founders and leaders of Zimbabwe.

“To me personally, he remains a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and my leader,” he said during his acceptance speech at his inauguration on Friday.

The BBC reports that there are fears that Mr. Mnangagwa, who is associated with some of the worst atrocities committed under the ruling Zanu-PF party since independence in 1980, will not usher in the democratic reforms that many in Zimbabwe are hoping for.

Earlier this month, Mr. Mnangagwa was sacked as vice-president, triggering a political crisis that led to the army taking control and Mr Mugabe eventually standing down.

Mr. Mugabe and his wife, Grace, remain at their house in the capital, Harare, and have no plans to leave the country.

Robert Mugabe And Family To Get $10 million

Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe will get a ‘Golden goodbye’ payoff of at least $10 million, including legal immunity for himself, his family and a salary paid for life.

The former dictator reportedly struck the deal as part of his resignation last week, after governing the country for 37 years.

A Zanu-PF insider close to the deal revealing the exact cash pay off is unknown but it will ‘not be less than $10million’ with $5million being paid now and the rest in installments.

A senior official of the ruling ZANU-PF party who spoke on the agreement said the total would not be less than $10 million, local media reported.

“Government will give him US$5 million lump-sum and then the remainder to be paid out in installments,” a source was quoted as saying by local Zimbabwe Independent.

According to the details of the agreement, Mugabe will also receive immunity from prosecution. Besides, the new government under Emmerson Mnangagwa will not take any action against his family’s extensive business interests.

His 52-year-old wife, dubbed as “Gucci Grace” for her extravagant lifestyle, will also receive half that amount for the rest of her life.

The couple will be also be allowed to stay in their mansion in Harare, known as the Blue Roof and the state will pay for their medical care, domestic staff, security and foreign travel.

Opposition leaders have criticised the agreement saying that the law does not guarantee immunity to the former president, including Douglas Mwonzora, secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change who spoke against it.

“We are not privy to any deal reached with Mugabe, and if there is any deal on money or anything else it is unconstitutional,” said Douglas Mwonzora, secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party, was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

“In terms of the constitution, Mugabe is a retired president and does not have immunity to criminal or civil wrongdoing committed while in office. In Zanu-PF, they can grant each other immunity, but the law does not authorise that.”

 

Emmerson Mnangagwa Sworn In As Zimbabwe’s President, Gives Special Tribute To Mugabe

Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president in a ceremony this morning at a packed stadium in the country’s capital, Harare.

Recall that the former vice-president’s dismissal earlier this month led the ruling Zanu-PF party and the army to intervene and force Mr Mugabe to quit. His oath read;

I Emmmerson Dambudzo Mnangagawa swear that as president of the Republic of Zimbabwe – I will be faithful to Zimbabwe and obey uphold and defend the constitution and all other laws of Zimbabwe and I will promote whatever that will advance and will oppose whatever will harm Zimbabwe that I will protect and promote the rights and people of Zimbabwe that I will discharge my duties will all my strength to the best of my strength and ability and to the dictates of my conscience and I will devote myself to the well being of Zimbabwe and its people so help me God.”

Mnangagwa, who’s popular for his nickname “the crocodile”, gave a special tribute to his predecessor, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

According to him, I feel deeply humbled again by the decision of my party Zanu-PF inviting me to serve our great nation the republic of Zimbabwe in the capacity of president and commander-in-chief… with effect from today. He led us in our struggle for national independence he assumed responsibility of leadership at a challenging time… that is to be lauded and celebrated’.

He went on to say despite errors Mugabe might have made, ‘Let us all accept and acknowledge his immense contribution to the building of our nation. To me personally he remains a comrade in arms and mentor.”

 

Robert Mugabe Granted Immunity

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation.

Mugabe who led Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 stepped down on Tuesday after the army seized power and the ruling party turned against him and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president, is set to be sworn in as president on Friday.

A government source said Mugabe, who is 93, told negotiators he wanted to die in Zimbabwe and had no plans to live in exile.

“It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it. For him it was very important that he be guaranteed security to stay in the country although that will not stop him from travelling abroad when he wants to or has to,” the source said.

 

Mugabe’s Successor, Mnangagwa Due In Country To Take Over

Zimbabwe’s former vice-president, whose sacking led to the shock resignation of long-time leader Robert Mugabe, could be sworn in as the new president within hours, the ruling party says.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa two weeks ago, is due to arrive back on Wednesday, the Zanu-PF says.

His dismissal led both the party and the military to intervene and force an end to Mr Mugabe’s 37-year long rule.

The news sparked wild celebrations across the country late into the night.

The announcement that the 93-year-old was stepping down came in the form of a letter read out in parliament on Wednesday, abruptly halting impeachment proceedings against him.

In it, Mr Mugabe said he was resigning to allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, and that his decision was voluntary.

BREAKING: Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe Finally Resigns

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has resigned, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda says.

A letter from Mr Mugabe said the decision was voluntary, Reuters news agency reports.

The surprise announcement came as lawmakers debated an impeachment motion against Mr Mugabe in a joint sitting of parliament.

Mr Mugabe had previously refused to resign despite last week’s military takeover, and days of protests.

He has been in power since independence in 1980.

Mugabe’s Youngest Son Reacts To Plot Against Father On Social Media

Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe, the youngest son of President Robert Mugabe has blasted his father’s political party for plotting to sack him amidst the military intervention in Zimbabwe.

Taking to his Facebook page on Sunday, Chatunga who’s well known for his lavish lifestyle, wrote:

‘You can’t fire a Revolutionary leader!

Zanu Pf is nothing without President Mugabe?

Gushungo will always remain the champion of champions!

Proud of you, Gushungo Proud of Dad.

Gushungo always and forever to death?

People like Wellence Mujuru celebrate and march became of Jealous and ruchiva acting as if he cares for the people and unnecessary attacks!’

 

According to reports the president’s son resides with his brother in neighboring South-Africa, and has not been seen in public since the military intervention in Zimbabwe.

 

Zimbabwe War Veterans Call For Immediate Anti-Mugabe Protests

Zimbabwe’s influential war veterans on Tuesday called for immediate protests against President Robert Mugabe as parliament moved to impeach the veteran leader.

“All the people must leave what they are doing, come to Harare… we just want to see the back of Mugabe immediately. The protests must begin now, we cannot have another hour of Mugabe,” said Zimbabwe War Veterans’ Association chairman Chris Mutsvangwa.

The group urged people to march to Mugabe’s private residence, known as the Blue Roof, to ensure the increasingly isolated leader “leaves office immediately”.

Lawmakers from Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party are due to take the first steps on Tuesday to force Mugabe from office after he ignored their ultimatum to resign.

The powerful war veterans had previously been the staunchest supporters of Mugabe’s long rule but are now seen as backing ousted Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose removal by the president sparked the current crisis.

AFP

Robert Mugabe Agrees To Resign, Seeks Immunity For Self And Wife

Zimbabwe’s long-time president Robert Mugabe has agreed to the terms of his resignation and a letter has been drafted, an official source with direct knowledge of negotiations told Newsmen.

The source said that the generals had given into many of Mugabe’s demands including full immunity for himself and his wife Grace, and that he would keep his private properties.

According to the source, the aim of Sunday’s televised address in which Mugabe appeared to resist calls to step aside was to ensure the veteran leader openly declared the military’s actions to be constitutional.

For the resignation to formally take place, however, a letter must first be sent to the speaker of Parliament, added the source. Mugabe had stunned the nation on Sunday when he refused to say in a live televised address if he was stepping down.

His party had given him 24 hours to resign or be impeached after military seized power and kept him under house arrest.

On Saturday, thousands of Zimbabweans had taken to the streets calling for him to go. But in a bizarre and rambling speech, Mugabe instead insisted he was going nowhere, and that he would see his political party Zanu-PF through its congress in a few weeks.

Zimbabweans who’d been glued to state television to watch the speech live came out into the streets afterward, some in shock.

Harare resident Tina Madzimure called the speech “an embarrassment really. He made a fool out of the generals.”

“This man will go to his grave with Zimbabwe in his hands,” she told CNN.