Harare – Former president Robert Mugabe doesn’t want to join cash-starved Zimbabwe’s bank queues: he wants to get his money out in cash – just like he’s always done.
It’s emerged that the 94-year-old was getting $20 000 a month in cash while he was president – while telling ordinary citizens they should adopt plastic money.
Now he’s asking for a lump sum pay-out of nearly half a million US dollars plus his monthly pension of more than $13 000 in cash, reports the Sunday Mail.
Public Service Commission Chairperson Mariyawanda Nzuwah wrote in a letter to central bank chief John Mangudya: “The former president was being paid his salary in cash and he has requested that the same arrangement be maintained.”
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“We are kindly requesting you to avail cash amounting to $467 200 and monthly cash amounts of $13 333 for us to pay the former president of Zimbabwe his pension benefits,” the letter said.
The news will fuel anger in a country where chronic cash shortages have plagued ordinary Zimbabweans for nearly two years.
A source in the office of the new president said Emmerson Mnangagwa recently turned down an attempt to be paid in cash like his predecessor.
The president is reported to have told a visiting government bank official “that if he needed cash he would queue for it like everyone else because the cash shortages affected all Zimbabweans and he would demand no such preferential and irregular treatment.”