HARARE – President Robert Mugabe says the “good times are coming” for Zimbabweans even as he lamented civil servants’ low pay and revealed he earns about US12,000 (about R142,000) a month, it was reported on Friday.
President Robert MugabePresident Robert Mugabe
Mugabe said he earned a basic salary of US10,000 (about R118,000) a month, with about US2000 (about R24,000) in benefits.
“We were looking at the salaries for the other presidents the other day, but we say as long as we have sadza nenyama [pap and meat] and we have cattle and goats… well that’s all right, we will keep alive,” Mugabe was quoted as saying by the Herald newspaper.
The president’s pay has been significantly increased since April, when he revealed in a documentary to mark his 90th birthday that he earned only US4000 (about R47,000) a month, way below regional standards.
“The good days will come and good days are coming,” Mugabe reportedly said.
Doctors at state hospitals went on strike late last year to protest monthly wages of below US300 (about R3500).
There was an outcry in December when doctors who participated in the strike found that their salaries had been docked.
Mugabe was speaking on Thursday at the Harare Central Hospital, where he was commissioning new medical equipment bought with a loan from China.
The president, who frequently travels to Singapore for medical attention, said the new equipment would boost confidence in local medical facilities and dissuade Zimbabweans from seeking treatment elsewhere.
“If yesterday we were getting fewer patients from outside, their numbers will increase in the future and even from South Africa itself, where our people rush to,” he said.
A recent survey revealed that 76 percent of adults in Zimbabwe live on less than US200 (about R2361) a month. Sapa