FORMER Vice-President Joice Mujuru, despite being sacked from government, and had all her security details withdrawn last week Monday evening, will continue living off taxpayers as the Constitution says she will draw a pension equivalent to her monthly salary as long as she lives.
This is the first time Zimbabwe has had a living former vice-president as the others — Joshua and John Nkomo, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika — all died in office.
Section 102 of the Constitution on remuneration of president and vice-presidents states: “A person who has ceased to be president or vice-president is entitled to receive — (a) a pension equivalent to the salary of a sitting president or vice-president, as the case may be; and (b) such allowances and other benefits as may be prescribed under an Act of Parliament”.
However, according to Section 103, a former president or vice-president cannot “directly or indirectly hold any other public office or be employed by anyone else while he or she is in office or is receiving a pension from the State as former president or vice-president, as the case may be”.
Analysts yesterday said although Mujuru may remain with some of her trimmings, her sacking meant the taxpayer would have to fork more for public officials, as President Robert Mugabe is now expected to appoint his deputies.
United Kingdom-based social scientist Admore Tshuma said Mujuru’s dismissal meant more misery for taxpayers.
“This is because taxpayers will unknowingly foot the bill of maintaining Mujuru’s private and civilian life, according to the Constitution,” he said.
Tshuma said the country was finding it increasingly difficult to foot the bill of public officials, considering that 80% of thebudget was for consumption not productive purposes.
Political analyst Godwin Phiri said the money she would get could not compensate for the loss of power and influence.
“She really doesn’t need the money, she has plenty of it. It is the vice-presidency and a chance to become president that she needs the most.”