After blowing £3 million on his daughter`s wedding earlier this month, Zimbabwe`s firebrand president Robert Mugabe is set to ask his country`s hard-up treasury for a pay rise next month. bump
The defiant leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe since leading the country to independence from Britain in 1980, is set to get an increase despite not delivering on his election promise to raise the salaries of public sector workers. Most workers earn around £200 a month.
It is estimated that Mugabe draws a monthly salary of around £5,000 despite the country being bankrupt.
He told public sector workers at a lunch event last week that he was told that pay increases would come into fruition next month, announced he said by finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, and warned the treasury against pulling an April Fool`s joke on him.
“˜I was talking to [Public Service Commission chairman] Mariyawanda Nzuwah who is close to Mr Chinamasa and he assured me that we would be paid. Even the President is also a worker ““ 1st of April don`t fool us,` he said.
President Mugabe has also vowed to crackdown on corruption involving high-profile officials at state institutions following recent damning exposures of graft, including at the national airline.
Speaking at a belated party hosted by civil servants and security forces to celebrate his 90th birthday, he said: “˜If there was any corruption, people will answer for it, I tell you.`
His warning came after media reports of alleged corruption involving senior officials across a number of state-run bodies including the government pensions authority, power utilities and the national airline, Air Zimbabwe.
“˜It has ruined the country,` said Mugabe, describing corruption as a “˜growing disease`.
The media has also reported on grossly inflated salaries for bosses at the public broadcaster which failed to pay workers for more than six months.
And the CEO of a public service health insurance fund, which has been in arrears in its remittances to hospitals and practitioners, has reportedly been receiving a monthly salary of $230,000.
Mugabe also poked fun at the tensions in the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) saying the party`s in-fighting was caused by their loss to his party in general elections last year.
“˜It`s disorganised them as you can see,` he said.
The MDC has been embroiled in squabbles following the suspension of deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma after he suggested Morgan Tsvangirai should step down as leader of the party following last year`s defeat to Mugabe.
Mugabe`s Zanu-PF party won another resounding victory in national elections last August, taking two-thirds of the vote, although he was accused of using state power to intimidate voters and opponents.