Zimbabwe will for the first time in history be paying salaries of two vice presidents and a pension for former deputy vice president Mrs. Joice Mujuru, who was sacked by President Robert Mugabe for allegedly plotting to topple him.
Constitutional experts say Mrs. Mujuru will be getting a pension pegged at salary scales of the country’s new vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
Section 102 of the Zimbabwe constitution stipulates that a person who ceases to be vice president earns a pension for life.
It reads in part, “A person who has ceased to be President or Vice President is entitled to receive a pension equivalent to the salary of a sitting President or Vice President, as the case may be and such allowances and other benefits as may be prescribed under an Act of Parliament.”
Apart from that, according to Section 103 of the constitution, the president and vice presidents and former office-holders are not allowed to hold other office or employment when getting some state benefits after the termination of their services.
“The President and Vice Presidents and any former President or Vice President must not, directly or indirectly, hold any other public office or be employed by anyone else while they are in office or are receiving a pension from the State as former President or Vice President as the case may be.”
Concerned Zimbabwean, Annastasia Moyo of the National Constitutional Assembly party, says the country can’t afford to pay salaries of more than $9,000 a month for two sitting vice presidents and a 'retired' deputy president.
But Zanu PF activist Morris Ngwenya says Zimbabweans are to blame for allowing such constitutional provisions.
Meanwhile, now that the issue of vice presidents has been resolved, the larger question of succession is still on the minds of many.
Looking ahead, analysts say there’s no question that President Mugabe will leave office someday, but the question is how.
Studio 7’s Ndimyake Mwakalyelye spoke with US-based analysts, Mwiza Munthali and Nii Akuette host of Africa Now and formerly with TransAfrica, who made comparisons between Malawi, whose first president Kamuzu Hastings Banda, ruled for 30 years, before being forced out by external forces, which included a strong opposition.
Munthali says the internal fight in Zanu-PF to succeed President Mugabe is indicative of the weak opposition to take over.