HomeNewsGrace ring fiasco: What $1.4 m can buy

Grace ring fiasco: What $1.4 m can buy


Imagine what $1.4 million would do to help Zimbabwe’s struggling economy?
This is the amount of money Grace Mugabe used to buy a wedding ring on her  20th anniversary with President Robert Mugabe.
Despite the source of the money not being verified, Grace, as wife to a public figure and a member of the First family, is subject to public scrutiny on her spending especially at a time when the Mugabe government is faced with allegations of massive looting and abuse of state resources.

Read more about the diamond ring saga here

To make a comparison, we publish below what $1.4 million could do:

In his 2017 Budget presentation, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa allocated the following amounts to various sectors and here we look at allocations that are up to $1.4 million


Capitalisation of NATPHARM–US$1 million

The National Pharmaceutical Company of Zimbabwe (Natpharm) is a state entity responsible for the procurement of drugs and other pharmaceuticals for public hospitals and clinics and with the shortage of drugs and other resources in hospitals, the parastatal is in dire need of recapitalisation and the amount Grace spent on a ring, was just enough to meet that need.


:Teacher capacity development–US$1 million
:Operational support to tertiary institutions–US$1.5 million
Either of these two sectors, teacher capacity development, which got $1m, or Operational support to tertiary institutions, could have benefitted, had Grace – as the ‘mother of the nation’decided to give the ring money to the struggling government her husband leads.


:Health Assistance–US$1 million
: Labour Administration–US$1.3 million
Social services is one of the critical sectors of the country, and its labour adminstration allocation of $1.3m in the 2017 budget could have been covered with some change, from the ring money. The money could also have been alternatively allocated to health assistance of the social services.


Rural Electrication–US$1 million
A $300k change – enough for a very good ring- would have remained!

  • Far from the budget items, $1.4 million, is just about a quarter of the $6 million CAPS holdings, the largest pharmaceutical company needs to recapitalise and it would have been helpful to the company’s cause.
  • With government workers’ salaries pegged at an average of $300 per month, $1.4 million is enough to pay about 4.660 civil servants.
  • With the monthly family basked pegged at about $571, $1.4m will afford monthly groceries for up to 2451 families
  •  $1.4 could have gone a long way in patching up (at least for now) the dangerous Mavingo highway. This could have saved lives.

Let’s share what you could have done with $1.4m to improve Zimbabwe.

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