via Mujuru payout exposes Grace – DailyNews Live 17 August 2015 by Ndakaziva Majaka
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s payout to former Vice President Joice Mujuru has exposed his wife’s lack of understanding of State architecture and rule of law, analysts say.
On Friday, through the government gazette, Mugabe set out Mujuru’s exit package despite utterances and suggestions by the First Lady a day earlier in Binga that the respected liberation war icon would go empty handed.
“Grace is not a government minister or official. Her outburst on Mujuru shows her limited understanding of the State architecture,” Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said.
“People must not confuse her misplaced hatred of the former VP with the rule of law because her thoughts do not translate to law,” he said.
“The President, in terms of Section 3 (1) of the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits Act, hereby makes the following notice: This notice may be cited as the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits (services and facilities for former VPs) notice 2015.
“A former Vice President of Zimbabwe, who has at any time since December 31 1987 been Vice-President for at least one full term of office, shall be entitled to use and enjoyment of the following services, facilities and allowances…” the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits published in Statutory Instrument 86 of 2015, gazetted last Friday said.
Mujuru is entitled to personal security, medical aid, travel allowances and domestic workers all paid for by the treasury.
She was fired from government by Mugabe this year as a result of a fall-out leading to last year’s congress which the ex-VP boycotted after being slapped with a slew of allegations including a plot to kill the Zimbabwean leader. Mujuru and her key allies were later axed from Zanu PF as the fallout continued
According to the Constitution, once one ceases to be president or vice president they are entitled to a pension equivalent to the salary of a sitting president or vice president.
The benefits, according to Section 103 of the Constitution, can only be withdrawn if the person directly or indirectly holds any other public office or be employed by anyone else while receiving a pension from the State for the former position held.
Ruhanya said government had to be applauded on its decision to award the former VP her package, urging the same should be done for former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
“This shows that the State respected rule of law. However, they should also do the same for Tsvangirai in the name of rule of law. He has not been given his exit package since he refused to accept Mugabe’s victory, but does this make him any less of a civil servant? No,” Ruhanya said.
Constitutional Law expert, Lovemore Madhuku said Grace’s outbursts in Binga last week served to show the country that Grace was irrelevant since government could overrule her utterances.
“She is simply irrelevant. Government operations are divorced from what she says because her utterances are just that, utterances.
“On the other hand it shows that the president is anxious to demonstrate that he is still the leader of the country despite all the things his wife may say in public,” the University of Zimbabwe law lecturer said.
In Binga, Grace vowed that Mujuru would get “nothing” if she had any say in the matter, before gloating that she had been responsible for the axed former VP downfall.
“You know what it is like being a civil servant, when you are fired you get nothing. Nothing at all! That is what happens when you are a disgraceful government worker,” Grace said.