Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has revealed that he now earns $12,000 a month, up from $4,000 that was gazetted last year.
He made the revelations on Thursday while commissioning medical equipment bought through a $100 million Export-Import Bank of China loan facility in Harare.
The 91-year-old leader described his salary as meagre and not in line with salaries of other leaders in the region. He said he earned a basic salary of of $10,000 and allowances amounting to $2,000.
President Mugabe said Zimbabweans who have been reeling under a severe economic collapse should be grateful that they could still put food on the table.
“We should all just be grateful that we have food on our tables,” he said. “If there’s isitshwala (thick maize meal porridge) and meat – that’s it. I am suffering just like you.”
However, the president’s family is reputed to be one of the richest in the country after acquiring several farms during the controversial land reform programme that began in 2000.
Last year he gave his daughter and her husband $100,000 and 55 head of cattle as presents at their wedding.
The 24-year-old Bona and her pilot husband Simba Chikore tied the knot at a lavish ceremony held at the First Family’s plush private residence in Harare.
The majority of Zimbabwe’s civil servants earn an average of $300 a month.
President Mugabe blames the economic collapse on sanctions imposed by Western countries on his government.
However, critics say the economic problems were caused by the chaotic land reform programme and the veteran ruler’s unilateral decision to deploy troops to fight in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war in 1997.
The president has also been accused of implementing poorly thought out economic policies since he assumed power in 1980.
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