ED Mnangagwa Ignores Zimbabwe’s First President Canaan Banana’s Widow
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ED Mnangagwa Ignores Zimbabwe’s First President Canaan Banana’s Widow

Everyone deserves fair treatment: Response to “Just give us our benefits, ”Mugabe tells Mnangagwa”

Zimbabwe’s ex-president Robert Mugabe has reportedly demanded his pension and retirement benefits just less than two months after President Emmerson Mnangagwa gazetted the list of perks applicable to a retired president. Perhaps Kharma at play as had his government ensured the former President Banana and first lady were fully accorded their retirement benefits as highly respected citizens according to Zimbabwe laws perhaps him and his wife would have had a smooth transition to forced retirement.

(ref ;https://m.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/just-give-us-our-benefits-mugabe-tells-mnangagwa-20180224)

According to a reliable source close to the family they have tried to be very diplomatic about resolving the issue of the former President’s Pension and Retirement benefits that should have been accorded to the late President and First lady as stated in the Act that does not cover children above the age of 18 years. According to the ‘Presidential Pensions and Retirement Benefits Act’ (Chapter 2:05 PRESIDENTIAL PENSION AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS ACT Acts 30/1987, 7/1989 (s.25), 6/1998, 2/2003) is rightfully accorded to her. The source says for over 17 years the former first lady has not received her full entitlement according to the laws of Zimbabwe and consequently she resorted to leading a life of frugality in the United Kingdom. 

For a while now the family have been in constant communications with the previous and current government officials through countless correspondences and phone calls without any progress or timely responses being acknowledged besides lip service here and there. The list of officials engaged starts with the late Pension Master in the Public Service Commission Mr Sylvester Mnkadla, the former minister of public service Prisca Mufpumira, the previous minister of public service Patrick Zhuwao, a former member of the President’s office Ray Ndlukula and acting officials at the Zimbabwe Embassy in the UK and certain prominent individuals linked to the current President’s office and all we have got so far is the cold shoulder. 

In the past three months since President Mnangagwa took over the Presidency, the family was hoping that this was now a reformed leadership in government, and state they have sent communications more than thrice, twice being through the Zimbabwe Embassy in London where they recorded some of the conversations with the Embassy staff. Apparently, the Embassy gave assurances that the last letter sent close to a month ago was in fact in the diplomatic bag and that receipt of the letter would have been treated with the urgency it deserves as it’s from a former first family.

One of the family members is quoted as saying “our fight for our mother’s constitutional entitlement is in not out of ignorance.We know that there are thousands of other retired civil servants who have equally lost their pension entitlement because of the poorly managed corruption infested government financial management system, however as a citizen who served in the highest office in the land surely there should be some empathy towards facilitating for her welfare and smooth return back to Zimbabwe to enjoy the rest of her years in a country that she any many made sacrifices to liberate from colonial rule.” 

It’s not a guarded secret that most of the Banana family members now reside outside the country (in the United Kingdom) due to unfavourable circumstances that materialised when the late former President was prosecuted through the courts and eventually served a prison sentence. There is no doubting that any normal thinking person can fathom the adverse public humiliation that followed the family thereafter, as well as the negative impact that this created on both the first lady’s life and that of her family. It’s quite unfortunate that we find the very colonisers that we fought to remove are the ones who are now accommodating one of Zimbabwe’s most respected daughters and family rather than her own people.

The source also reveals that the former first lady who is now very old is very keen to return to her rural home in Zimbabwe where her late husband was laid to rest. She wants nothing more than to return to her motherland once this issue of her retirement entitlements is resolved as stipulated by Zimbabwean law.

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