BY CHARLES LAITON
Zimbabwe’s two vice-presidents earn a staggering $14 000 a month each at a time the government is struggling to pay civil servants a living wage, it has been revealed.
President Emmerson Mnangwagwa has two VPs, namely, Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga.
The duo’s remuneration has not been made public since they rose to the lofty positions after the military toppled former president Robert Mugabe in 2017.
However, a divorce wrangle pitting Mohadi and his former wife Tambudzani has helped to lift the lid on the VPs’ benefits with a payslip attached to a court application revealing the veteran politician from Beitbridge earns $7 000 in basic salary and a similar amount in allowances.
Tambudzani is demanding a $13 394 monthly maintenance from Mohadi, whom she says earns “quite a substantial amount”.
“As a vice-president, the respondent (Mohadi) has more than enough financial means to meet his maintenance obligation post- divorce,” she argued in the court papers.
“As a vice-president, the respondent is entitled to annual pension equivalent to (an) annual salary in terms of section 2 (1) (a1) of the presidential pension and retirement benefit.
“The respondent’s pension constitutes extra income demonstrating his financial capacity.”
Tambudzani said Mohadi also receives dividends from businesses that he operates.
“The respondent is the vice-president and a 70-year-old businessman with various business ventures all over the country,” she added.
The Beitbridge senator and a leading Zanu PF official in Matabeleland South said she had become accustomed to a high standard of living during her marriage to Mohadi and wanted to maintain it.
“During the subsistence of the marriage, we always maintained a high standard of living due to our high-earning capacity,” Tambudzani said.
“However, my monthly income is insufficient to pay for all my monthly expenses and sustain the lifestyle I am accustomed to.
“As such, it is the legal duty of the respondent to contribute maintenance for my monthly expenses until I die or remarry,” she said.
Her own payslip for July 2018 showed that she earned a gross salary of $1 124 and an allowance of $1 046. Her net salary was $2 032.
Last month the government increased the salaries of civil servants by less than $300 and the workers complain that the money has already been eroded by hyperinflation.
Civil servants take home less than $1 000 in salaries per month.
According to the Blue Book, a government document that details the state’s expenditure and debts, $630 000 was set aside for salaries and allowances for Mnangagwa and his deputies this year.
The document, however, does not specify how much Mnangagwa, Chiwenga and Mohadi earn a month.
The salary bill in the Office of the President and Cabinet rose to $10,12 million from $8,77 million the previous year.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has made it a priority to cut government expenditure under controversial austerity measures.