Mugabe earns modest salary, says first lady

2013-06-10 09:22

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is a civil servant and earns a meagre salary, said Grace Mugabe.

The first lady made the statement in an interview on the South African television show People of the South, which is hosted by Dali Tambo.

The interview, which has been split over two episodes, shows the 89-year-old at home with his wife and two of his three children.

“I work very hard,” said Mugabe. She said the Mugabes are not millionaires and do not own lots of properties.

She said the family’s income is substituted by farming. The Mugabes are involved in dairy, wheat and coffee initiatives, according to the first lady.

“When I work, I am complementing what he (Robert) is doing, what he has already done for the nation”, said Mugabe.

Mugabe has often courted bad press for her alleged shopping sprees. She has dismissed the reports as lies.

She said that she buys her own material, which is cheap, and then designs her own outfits.

Mugabe also rejected claims that the family is involved in the diamond trade.

In 2012, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) allowed Zimbabwe to sell Marange diamonds with KPCS certification.

KPCS is an initiative to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the multibillion-dollar international market.

It barred the country for years, over claims of widespread human rights abuses at Marange’s diamond operations.

“I value the transformation that you have brought into my life and the kids you gave me, the happiness they brought, and the happiness you brought, and I remain very grateful for that”, said the elder statesmen to his wife.

Tambo, the son of anti-apartheid stalwarts Oliver and Adelaide Tambo, came under heavy criticism from viewers and the media, who accused him of being too soft in his first interview with President Mugabe.

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