By Lloyd Takawira
Former first ladies will now get a raft of benefits after President Mnangagwa promulgated Statutory Instrument 261 which stipulates that taxpayers must provide benefits to former first ladies.
At a time the economy of Zimbabwe has been on a negative trajectory former first ladies will smile all the way to the castles .
The promulgated SI 261 of 2020 contained a raft of benefits that includes a Mercedes E300.
“Mercedes Benz E300 pick-up truck, any other car, business class tickets (twice a year),domestic workers, office, entertainment allowance among other benefits ” reads the promulgated SI 261 of 2020 .
Apart from the travel , medical and transport benefits , the former first lady will get an entertainment allowance determined by the President from time to time.
However , with the economic situation in the country , analysts have questioned the rational behind such a spending at a time government is arguing that it is tightening its spending.
Midlands State University Political science Lecturer Dr Brian Chigora speaking to this reporter argued that , ” reasons and expansive explanations never provided for the presidential budget”.
Economist Mr Bruce Dhliwayo , said that a host of these payout to would contribute to the country’s budget deficit.
“Its an attempt to buy peace and balance factions in the party . They have to monetize the peace,”
Dhliwayo added that,“By that I am talking about the huge payouts that have to be met by the taxpayer which we know will be paid to the famous former first lady Dr Amai . So, monetizing the peace will involve the signing of huge payouts so that the new order can be accepted by the old order and diffuse the G40 groupies to which Grace Mugabe is believed to be actively involved.”
Overhanging the excessive spending by the government the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this week predicted Zimbabwe’s economy will decline from 10,2% forecast last year to 2020 to 4,2%.
This will be a staggering recovery of this battered economy, which has suffered the ravages of mismanagement, plunder and natural disasters, not to mention the debilitating sanctions imposed by the United States and the West