IF recent State media reports suggesting that former President Robert Mugabe wants his pension lump sum of nearly half-a-million dollars and monthly pension payout of over $13 000 paid in cash are true, then Zimbabweans should be wary of the type of leaders they elect.
It boggles the mind to just imagine how the same Mugabe, who, during his tenure, rallied all citizens to embrace plastic money when the economy took a plunge, but now nicodemously demands his dues in cash regardless of the quantum.
While it’s a fact that Mugabe is constitutionally entitled to his pension and other benefits, it becomes criminal for him to demand that money in cash considering the prevailing situation in Zimbabwe.
This is the worst form of greed that should never be condoned given that Mugabe is the author of our present economic mess.
Why would Mugabe want to continue enjoying an opulent life, which is in stark contrast to the lives of most Zimbabweans, who are suffering because of his 37 years of misrule.
The latest expose just goes to confirm that reality has not yet dawned on the Mugabes that they have now become like ordinary citizens, who have to endure long queues to access amounts as low as $20 from banks.
Therefore, it is outrageous and uncalled for to have such a small family that has put us in this quagmire, to demand this whole lot of money in cash, yet the generality of people queue to get coins.
Reports that former First Lady Grace Mugabe is also getting a monthly payment of $2 170 from the State, equally makes for sad reading, as she is not superior to other citizens, who are paying the heavy price for her husband’s gross mismanagement of the economy.
It’s common knowledge that the Zimbabwean economy is ailing and characterised by a tight liquidity crunch, cash shortages, company closures, retrenchments and an unemployment rate of 95% — according to the International Labour Organisation.
The former First Family should face reality and feel the pinch like every Zimbabwean.
Why would the Mugabes want to move around with such large amounts of cash if the motive is not to engage in money laundering activities?
We would want to believe that in publishing Mugabe’s outrageous demands, the government of the day wants to portray a message of transparency, public accountability, adherence to rule of law and commitment to curb unnecessary government expenditure.
Otherwise, it’s no use for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to expose his predecessor’s excesses while doing worse things under cover of darkness.