Robert Mugabe gives sister-in-law Sh6 million birthday gift

HARARE 

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lavished his sister-in-law with $60,000 (Sh6 million) on her birthday, state-owned media reported, at a time when the country is running critically short of cash.

The Herald newspaper said Mugabe, 93, and his wife Grace gave Junior Gumbochuma the money at her birthday celebrations, while the couple’s children gave her $10,000 (Sh1 million).

“The gift was to thank Mrs Gumbochuma, a pastor, for the pivotal role she played in raising the First Family’s children,” the newspaper said.

Mrs Gumbochuma, who is Grace Mugabe’s elder sister, celebrated her 60th birthday on Sunday as the First Lady celebrated her 52nd at one of the Mugabes’ farms in Shamva, northeast of Harare.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a downturn for over a decade with many banks running out of cash, forcing people to queue for hours to make withdrawals often limited to only $20 a day.

Zimbabwe’s public salary wage bill uses up 91 per cent of total revenue and the economy has halved in size since 2000.

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