via Tsvangirai benefits cut causes furore – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 14, 2015 by Richard Chidza
Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has not received his terminal benefits two years after leaving government amid claims he was being fixed by President Robert Mugabe because of their political differences.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday said the MDC-T leader had not received any benefits from government despite the fact that he was entitled to them.
“It is true that he has received nothing and there has not been any communication either way,” Tamborinyoka said.
“They owe him, but you must know why he is not making a fuss about it.
“It is because for him participation in the GNU (government of national unity) was never about his personal material needs.
“It was about service and sacrifice and this is why for three of the four years he was Prime Minister, Tsvangirai was staying in his own house.”
Tsvangirai stayed at his Strathaven house in Harare before switching to a government-owned mansion in Highlands.
The move caused controversy after some in government tried to push for his eviction following his defeat in the 2013 elections.
Tamborinyoka insinuated that the former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions leader was being punished for refusing to recognise Mugabe’s election following the controversial 2013 polls.
However, he said the government had no right to withhold the benefits.
“But these are his entitlements and he earned them. However, he is not going to beg anyone,” Tamborinyoka said.
“If the condition is that he must first say the 2013 election was legitimate for them to give him his dues, then tough luck.
“That is not going to happen. He is not going to endorse that fraud.”
A senior MDC-T official told NewsDay that Tsvangirai, who served as PM between 2009 and 2013, was legally entitled to terminal benefits.
“He has not received anything from the government, not his pension, not even a car,” the official said.
“Most of his compatriots who served as ministers were allowed to take the vehicles they were using.
“Mugabe is punishing Tsvangirai for refusing to recognise his 2013 electoral theft.
“Most, if not all, of his juniors walked away with off-road vehicles as well as other cars, but he only got the battered Mercedes-Benz (vehicle) that is now beyond repair.
“This is despite the fact that according to the agreement used to form the coalition government, Tsvangirai and Mugabe shared executive powers.”
Tsvangirai’s house in the leafy suburb of Highlands was reportedly valued at $4 million after renovations and upgrades that cost around $800 000.
Efforts to get a comment from Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba over the matter were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.
Tsvangirai has lost three times to Mugabe, but the opposition leader claimed massive vote-rigging during the polls.