Zimbabwe unveils generous Mugabe retirement package

In this file photo Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe sits for formal photographs with university officials after presiding over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University in November 2017. (AP)
Updated 28 December 2017

Zimbabwe unveils generous Mugabe retirement package

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s ousted president Robert Mugabe will get a residence, a car fleet and private air travel as part of a new government-funded retirement package for former leaders, state media reported Thursday.
Mugabe will also be entitled to at least 20 staffers including six personal security guards, all paid for from state coffers, according to details of the benefits published in The Herald newspaper.
The 93-year-old, who quit last month under popular pressure following a military takeover, is the first beneficiary of the generous measures unveiled Wednesday by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
No monetary details were spelt out, but the country’s constitution stipulates that an ex-president is entitled to a pension equivalent to the salary of a sitting president.
Local independent media reported last month that Mugabe was granted a $10-million (8.3-million euro) retirement bonus as part of a deal to persuade him to eventually resign. The government denied the claims.
As part of the new package, Mugabe will have three cars — a Mercedes Benz S500 Series or an equivalent class of sedan, an all-terrain station wagon and a pickup van — which will be replaced every five years.
The government will also pay for fuel.
Mugabe and his wife will be entitled to diplomatic passports. The couple can go on four first-class air or train trips within Zimbabwe and four trips abroad on a private plane.
Mugabe will also be awarded a fully-furnished official residence anywhere in the capital Harare, in addition to bills and entertainment allowances.
Health insurance for the former leader, his spouse and dependants is also included in the raft of benefits.
Mugabe resigned on November 21 after his party expelled him and parliament began proceedings to impeach him in the wake of a military intervention.
His 37-year tenure was marked by accusations of rights abuses, electoral fraud and economic ineptitude.
He was replaced by his long-time ally Mnangagwa, who had fallen out with Mugabe after the president sided with his 52-year-old wife Grace in a bitter feud.

 


Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

Updated 18 November 2019

Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

  • The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters
  • Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate

SRINAGAR: An avalanche on Monday hit an Indian patrol in the world’s highest militarised zone in the Himalayas, killing four soldiers and two porters, an army spokesman said.
The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) that is claimed by India and rival Pakistan.
Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate in the region over the past three decades.
An Indian military spokesman told AFP that the avalanche engulfed eight people in the patrol at the northern end of the glacier in the Karakoram mountain range.
Rescue teams managed to dig the patrol members out of the snow, and they were taken by helicopter to hospital.
“Despite best efforts, six casualties which includes four soldiers and two civilian porters succumbed to extreme hypothermia,” said the spokesman, Col. Rajesh Kalia.
Avalanches are common on the 700-square-kilometer (270-square-mile) glacier, where temperatures regularly fall to minus 60 degrees Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit).
In 2016, 10 Indian soldiers were buried and killed.
About 900 Indian soldiers alone have died on the glacier since 1984, when Indian forces took complete control of Siachen.
The glacier is located at the northern end of the Line of Control that divides Kashmir, which India and Pakistan have fought over since 1947.

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