Zimbabwe — Robert Mugabe Gets Golden Parachute

But The People Continue To Suck Salt

 Politicians over the years have not only always feathered their financial nests first, but also enjoyed the best position at the economic trough.

This privileged position, of course, has nothing to do with whether the politicians serve their constituents or country well — just a mere entitlement, and some people would in sarcasm utter, elementary my dear Watson.

Now, a case in point is the golden parachute handed to former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe by the newly formed Mnangagwa administration.

According to news reports, the ousted former president will walk away with the following, a residence, 20 staffers including six personal security guards, a car fleet consisting of a Mercedes Benz S500 Series or an equivalent class of sedan, an all-terrain station wagon, and a pickup van.

Moreover, the newly formed government has instituted a new law that will allow all future leaders the same entitlement as part of a new government-funded retirement package.

Now, one does not begrudge the 93-year-old Mugabe his largesse, but the question that goes a-begging is can the country afford such luxury and what example does that set for the common man?

This, of course, is not unique to Zimbabwe as that’s the way most governments roll within developing third world countries.

So, regardless of the living standard of the average citizen and the status of the country’s economy, politicians will always put themselves atop of the food chain.

A cursory glance at Zimbabwe’s economy reveals that poverty rates in 2007 were nearly 80%, while the unemployment rate in 2009 was ranked as the world’s largest, at 95%.

In 2016, real GDP growth for Zimbabwe was 0.7 %. Though Zimbabwe real GDP growth fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to increase through 2002 – 2016 period ending at 0.7 % in 2016.

Most general laborers are paid under ZWD 200 Billion (US 60c) per month. A nurse’s salary was Z$12,542 (12 US cents), less than the cost of a soft drink.

The current account balance of the country is negative, standing at around US -$517 million. Additionally, Zimbabwe experienced 231 million percent peak hyperinflation in 2008 and was forced to abandon its currency in 2009.

The fact is with such vagaries in any economy, people will continue to suffer, and discontentment is bound to occur.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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