Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

Harare - Although there is almost no cash inside banks or at ATMs in Zimbabwe, and at times it’s a struggle to receive change at supermarkets because most people pay for their groceries with electronic cash, Robert Mugabe is demanding his massive pension payout in cash.

The monthly payment of Mugabe’s tax free pension in cash is estimated to be more than R150 000 a month since he has commuted R5.5million from the state’s pension fund. 

Prior to his resignation after a soft coup d’etat last November, Mugabe received about R250 000 a month cash as his salary. His wife, Grace, who had no official role, received about R30 000 a month, state-controlled newspaper the Sunday Mail said.

Read: Mugabe makes his first trip to SA since stepping down as president

Robert Mugabe: Was Gucci Grace his undoing?

Mugabe moved out of the large State House about 15 years ago, and chose to live in his own, new, expensive R120m, 20 hectare mansion in a posh part of Harare. This three-storey home was maintained, serviced and guarded by public servants and has a helipad, dams and wildlife.

Should Mugabe be forced to accept his salary and benefits like his government colleagues and other public servants, he will have to do his shopping via electronic cash on his cellphone or use a bank debit card. His bank account at the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, CBZ would reflect transactions in US dollars.

Public Service Commission chair Mariyawanda Nzuwa wrote to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya earlier this month asking that Mugabe be paid in cash.

Mugabe’s pension, according to the law, must be equal to what he had earned (minus what he commuted) or equivalent to the incumbent’s salary and perks. -

Independent Foreign Service